MESOP Syria Daily: “Cessation of Hostilities” Begins / THE “CEASEFIRE”

February 27 – by Scott Lucas – eaworldview – A “cessation of hostilities” formally began across Syria at midnight, with the UN hoping for negotiations between the Assad regime and rebels on March 7.The US-Russian proposal for a cessation was reportedly holding early Saturday.

Less than an hour before it came into effect, the UN Security Council unanimously supported the pause and demanded that all parties fulfil commitments to end hostilities and to allow “humanitarian agencies rapid, safe and unhindered access throughout Syria by the most direct routes”.

UN envoy Staffan de Mistura, announcing the intention for “proximity talks” on March 7, said: No doubt there will be no shortage of attempts to undermine this process. We are ready for it….

Let’s pray that this works because frankly this is the best opportunity we can imagine the Syrian people has had for the last five years in order to see something better and hopefully something related to peace. Facts will tell.

The opposition-rebel High Negotiations Committee has accepted a two-week temporary ceasefire, seeking an end to all Russian and regime bombardment and access to aid. After initial reluctance, President Assad bowed to Moscow’s pressure and agreed to a halt of attacks except on the Islamic State, the jihadists of Jabhat al-Nusra, and “other terrorist groups” as defined by the UN. On Friday, as the deadline approached, Russian and regime attacks were reported on opposition areas across Syria, including northern Aleppo Province — where both a foreign-led regime ground offensive and Russian-backed Kurdish assaults have pushed back rebels — and Latakia Province near the Turkish border.Airstrikes also continued on the opposition-held areas in and near Damascus. They included Darayya, where regime forces have hoped to break into the long-besieged town, and Douma, where hundreds of peoples have been killed by bombings since last summer.