September 15, 2016 — The Syrian cease-fire agreed to last week by Russia and the United States has reduced violence in the short term, but there are troubling signs it may collapse like previous attempts to end the war, now in its sixth year.
The crucial element of the agreement is a “cessation of hostilities” among all parties involved in the truce. Should the pause in fighting last for seven days, starting at sundown September 12, the beginning of the Muslim Eid-al-Adha holiday, joint U.S.-Russian airstrikes will commence against the Islamic State militant group (ISIS). The agreement also calls on all signatories to allow for the distribution of humanitarian aid, along with an end to all sieges and the release of all detainees, particularly women and children.
“If implemented and adhered to, this cessation will not only lead to a decline in violence,” U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said, while acknowledging that “significant challenges” could get in the way of that aim
Read the full article on Newsweek with commentary from ID’s Reza Afshar on Russia’s involvement in Syria.