September 12, 2016
Syrian Ceasefire: 14th Time Is The Charm
A temporary ceasefire between government and some rebel forces kicked into effect in parts of Syria on Monday, and, at the risk of sounding excessively cynical, we aren’t expecting much. Maybe that has to do with the fact that (1) it isn’t yet clear which rebel groups will be taking part in the ceasefire, or (2) how Assad used the weekend leading up to it to intensify attacks on the rebels, or (3) the fact that the ceasefire was already being violated by both sides less than an hour into it taking effect.
But, what if it does work?
If the ceasefire holds for seven days, the US and Russia will conduct joint operations against ISIS and other radical groups. The Syrian government would be banned from flying missions over the rebels. The ceasefire is not a comprehensive peace agreement, however, and even if it does work it won’t lead to disarmament and a political transition. The hope is that a lull in the fighting can bring relief to Syrians, most of whom are trying to celebrate Eid al-Adha this week.
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