Syria Daily: US & Russia Begin Fighting Over “Ceasefire”


February 26 – by Scott Lucas – eaworldview – On the eve of its implementation, the US and Russia have begun arguing over their plan for a “cessation of hostilities” in Syria. The opposition-rebel bloc has accepted the proposal for a halt of fighting at midnight on Friday. President Assad has said he will comply if attacks continue against the Islamic State, the jihadists of Jabhat al-Nusra, and “other terrorist groups”.However, doubts have already been raised that Russian and regime warplanes will continue bombing of opposition-held areas, possibly using the pretext that the target is Jabhat al-Nusra. A “Syrian military source” reinforced that scenario on Thursday, when he said that the intense bombardment of the besieged town of Darayya, southwest of Damascus, would continue.

There is evidence that the ones there are Nusra Front. They found documents, books, flags that point to the Nusra Front being in Daraya. In any place where there is Nusra Front, we will continue operations.

Obama Administration officials reinforced the concerns yesterday. One said that Moscow’s attacks in “the last three weeks to press their position”, leading to “general suspicion about Russia in the short term” and questions inside the Administration about whether the Russians will fully back the cessation.

Speaking before a National Security Council meeting, President Obama warned Moscow:

Everybody knows what needs to happen. All parties that are part of the cessation of activities need to end attacks, including aerial bombardment. Humanitarian aid must be allowed to reach areas under siege.

A lot of that is going to depend on whether the Syrian regime, Russia, and their allies live up to their commitments.

The coming days will be critical, and the world will be watching.


Meanwhile, the Russian Foreign Ministry hit back at remarks of US Secretary of State John Kerry about an undefined “Plan B” if the cessation did not occur. Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said:

We were confused when we heard first responses from Washington to the document. To be honest, we did not expect some officials to interpret this agreement in such a diametrically opposite way. Several officials in fact tried to cast doubt on the agreement signed by the presidents of Russia and United States.

Asked “Have the Americans told you anything about their Plan B for Syria?”, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov bluntly responded:

We have another priority right now….You’ve already said everything yourself about a Plan B: there isn’t one and never will be one.

Russia and the US have cooperated on a draft UN Security Council resolution which “urges all Member States…to use their influence with the parties to the cessation of hostilities to ensure fulfillment of those commitments and to support efforts to create conditions for a durable and lasting ceasefire”.

The draft resolution also calls on all parties in the conflict to grant access to besieged areas and a resumption of peace talks “as soon as possible”.