The Syrian government and rebel groups announced their conditional acceptance of a proposed U.S.-Russian cease fire that the international community hopes will bring them back to negotiating in Geneva to end the war.
This announcement came after the U.S. and Russia agreed upon a new cease-fire for Syria, even though major questions over enforcement were left unresolved.
The Syrian Foreign Ministry said that it accepts the proposed truce. He also added that operations will continue against the Islamic State group, Al-Qaeda’s branch in Syria and „other terrorist groups linked to them”.
“The Syrian government stresses the right of its armed forces to retaliate against any violation carried out by these groups.” the ministry’s statement said
This announcement came after the High Negotiations Committee said that it “agrees to a temporary truce” as long as the main opposition’s demands are met.
The HNC said that the “acceptance of the truce is conditional” to the Syrian government ending its blockade of 18 rebel-held areas, releasing detainees and the cessation of aerial and artillery bombardment.
U.N. envoy Staffan de Mistura stopped the latest Syria talks in Geneva on 3rd of February, because of major differences between the two sides, exacerbated by increased aerial bombings and a large-scale government military offensive under the cover of Russian airstrikes.
In addition, it was not immediately clear if de Mistura will set a new date for the resumption of the talks that were scheduled to resume.
Syria’s state news agency SANA reported that a new humanitarian aid convoy made up of 44 trucks entered Damascus suburb of Moadamiyeh. The delivery was conducted under the supervision of the Syrian Arab Red Crescent and the United Nations, Sana stated.
Later on, it was reported that aid entered another rebel-held suburb named Kfar Batna.
The latest distribution of aid came as the president of the International Committee of the Red Cross, Peter Maurer, began a five-day visit to Syria – his 4th since taking office in 2012.
“This is a critical situation at the present moment with millions of people in need and the objective of course of this trip is to scale up our operations and to bring as good as we can more help to Syrian people.” Maurer said in statement
The truce will not cover IS, the Al-Qaeda-linked Nusra Front and any other militias designated as terrorist organizations by the U.N. Security Council. However, where in Syria the fighting must stop and where counter-terrorism operations can continue must still be addressed.
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