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The Failure Of Syrian Ceasefire Deal: No Respite To The Civilians Caught Between The War

The Logical Indian

September 23rd, 2016

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Source: thehindu | Image Courtesy: blogs.ft | jpupdates

Since the Syrian protests broke out in 2011 during the Arab spring, its cities have turned into battlefields for the Islamic State terrorists, Kurdish fighters, armed opposition groups of various factions and military forces from Russia, Iran, the US and Turkey.

The ceasefire deal was negotiated and drafted between the US Secretary of State, John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister, Sergey Lavrov. The agreement aimed to bring a seven-day long interim cease on the Syrian war, so that humanitarian aid could be delivered to those civilians trapped in the interior territories. The deal was supposed to strike between these two countries, a sharing of intelligence for coordinating air strikes against the Islamic State and Al-Qaeda affiliated terrorist groups. The truce does not apply to the terrorist group Jabhat Fateh al-Sham, a former subsidiary under Al-Qaeda. Whereas the Syrian government
and the Iran and Lebanese Hezbollah armed groups have agreed to the deal while expressing mild apprehensions.

Sadly, just a few days into the ceasefire agreement, suspicions between the two sides grew after Russia attacked a convoy carrying humanitarian aid. The opposition units had also failed to withdraw their forces blocking the road to Aleppo, one of the worst affected cities by this ongoing crisis. Later in the week, the United States was blamed as well, for ‘criminal negligence’ by the Russian government. An airstrike headed by the US-led coalition killed over 60 Syrian soldiers. The Pentagon termed this as a mistake and the government clarified that the attack was intended only to target the IS position but that it may have accidently hit the government troops.

Despite this, the tensions are soaring and this reflect the conflicting interests between the two nations. The diplomacy war they are waging is in complete vain and fails to provide any respite to the civilians caught in the throes of this massive battle.

During the committee sessions of the United Nations Security Council, John Kerry urged Russia to comply with the ceasefire agreement. He accused Moscow of allowing President Assad to violate the truce intended to create a humanitarian corridor for the suffering civilians. This also indicates America’s growing frustration in ensuring that Russia insists Assad complies with the agreement. He was quoted saying that, this attack has dealt a very heavy blow to our efforts for bringing peace to Syria, and it raises a profound doubt about whether Russia and Bashar al-Assad’s regime can or will live up to the obligations that they agreed to.”

The High Negotiations Committee (HNC) has welcomed Kerry’s remarks on grounding the Syrian air force. They want this demand to be backed with the threat of military force. Bassma Kodmani, a spokesperson from HNC said that that only way of ensuring that Russia and Assad halt their brutality and the indiscriminate killing of civilians is through a clear, public guarantee and the declaration of a no-bomb zone.

The quest to conjure a political solution to this issue, which has been going on for five years, has cost over 40,000 lives and displaced a million others, is of the most utmost importance. It seems today that the Syrian issue for all the nations involved is one of furthering their personal interests only. There seems to be no discourse for a global dialogue that can ensure a consolidated effort to end this crisis.

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