The terms of the agreement
An agreement that Syria should be allowed humanitarian organizations and within one week will determine the terms of the cessation of hostilities throughout the country were reached on 12 February in Munich at the meeting of the International support group Syria (MGPS).
The communiqué stated that the parties would proceed to the cessation of hostilities in one week after receiving confirmation from the Syrian government and the opposition on the results of inter-Syrian consultations. It also said that “in the course of this week, the task force MGPS will determine the order of the process of cessation of hostilities”. Fighting should not be terminated against banned in Russia LIH, “Dzhabhat EN-Nusra” or other groups recognized by the UN Security Council as terrorist organizations.
Politicians and experts had interpreted the agreement in such a way that a ceasefire will come on February 19. On 13 February the foreign Ministers of Russia, great Britain and Germany at a conference in Munich on General discussion asking whether they will be able “to say about an effective cessation of hostilities”. Russian foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov assessed the probability of this to 49%. British Minister Philip Hammond said that this probability “goes to zero”.
The Foreword to the negotiations
As the events of the week, the Hammond forecast proved to be correct. No progress in the issue of the ceasefire, the parties have not claimed. The Russian foreign Ministry on Wednesday said the successful development of agreements for the delivery of humanitarian cargo. Syrian authorities, promptly made active efforts in the humanitarian field, said in a statement. From this it follows that the authorities have given written consent for delivery in priority humanitarian assistance to people in Deir-ez-Zor, Madamji, Madai, Kafr Batna, Zabadani, Daraya, Foie/Katrae.
The agreement was facilitated by the meeting of the task force on humanitarian issues, held in Geneva. It was attended by the officers of the permanent missions to the UN in Geneva, said the official representative of the MFA of Russia Maria Zakharova.
Negotiations on the suspension of fire MPGS participants will start only on Friday, “Interfax” said on Wednesday the Deputy foreign Minister of Russia Gennady Gatilov. “In its work will participate the military representatives of Russia and the USA, as well as some other key countries in the International support group for Syria,” he said.
At the first meeting of the panel on armistice Sunday will be representatives of the Ministry of defense, said Zakharova. “Representatives of other countries MGPS theoretically can join the group — for them it is right. For Russia and the United States, which claimed responsibility, duty. But your decisions in any case, the decision will apply to all”, — said Zakharov.
As expected, the U.S. delegation at the talks on Friday will be chaired by the special assistant to the President Rob’malley, announced Thursday the radio station “Voice of America”.
Who is a terrorist
The experts interviewed immediately after the conclusion of the agreement on 12 February expressed doubt that it will be possible to deliver on their commitments, as parties to the conflict are too different goals and different understanding of what to do and whom to support and whom to fight against: still not agreed a common list of terrorist organization in Syria, against which to fight.
Russian authorities say that all who oppose Assad are terrorists, and to successfully move forward, compromise is needed, says the Director of the Eurasian center. Dinu Patriciu of the Atlantic Council John Herbst. The inconsistency of the list, he explains that in its drafting are not interested many parties to the conflict, including those that are formally allies. Turkey is a US ally, but they have always existed disagreement on the Kurdish issue, like the Herbst. Now Turkey is against the Syrian Kurds military action, as Washington urges not to.
Over the past week, lack of truce showed many participants of the conflict. Russia U.S. Secretary of state John Kerry has accused that it does not reject the bombing. But Moscow is bombing ISIS (banned in Russia), and the fight against the terrorists shall not affect, parried the representatives of the Russian authorities.
Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad on Monday said that he sees no conditions for a ceasefire. He also repeated that he considers all those who were fighting against terrorists. The authorities of Turkey and Saudi Arabia instead of expressing willingness to support a truce, talked about the possibility of a ground invasion. One of the senior members of the opposition Syria Riyad Hijab its scepticism was expressed by 14 February. “We are used to conferences and hope, veiled in the words, but we hope for.” In his opinion, the actions of Russia continues bombing, prevented implementation of the plan. The Syrian opposition claims that Russian VC bombed the moderate opposition. The defense Ministry denies this.
Overall, despite the reached agreements, fighting in the region are even greater activity. Assad’s army with the support of the Iranian rebels, Hezbollah in Lebanon (a total of about 24 thousand soldiers) and aviagroup of the Russian VC continues to move in several directions. Aleppo is cut off from the Northern territories to the opposition. Units of Hezbollah are intensifying the pressure on the North of the city. The Lebanese are trying to capture the highway, which the free Syrian army and “al-Nusra Front” in the city (a terrorist organization banned in Russia) reported from the occupied territories in Idlib province. In the battles of Aleppo, government forces use the technique with approximately 100 tanks and 400 APCS.
On the morning of February 18, the state Agency of Syria SANA has reported that, with the support of Russian aircraft Assad forces took the town Kinaba. The Agency has named the city strategically important for the attack on Jisr al-Shughour, Idlib province. This city is located at the intersection of several roads that connect the North and South Syria.
“Detachments of people’s self-defense” — military wing of the Kurdish opposition — also actively worked against the Free Syrian army in the North. The Kurds have seized the city of tel-Rafaat 15 February. Troops continue to move West and North to the Turkish border.
In response to this Turkey in the end of the week, according to the defense Ministry of Russia, was fired occupied by Kurds settlement, including on the border of two States. Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu has confirmed, these attacks, stating that “people’s defence Units” (considered a terrorist organization and banned in Turkey) attacked the border town of Azaz and the border crossing with Turkey. In addition, Turkish authorities require a Syrian to leave the airport Mennak.
From 500 to 2,000 armed fighters turkmenskoi group “Levantine front” crossed the Turkish-Syrian border on 18 February. “We were allowed to take all their weapons from firearms to mortars and tanks”, — said the Agency Reuters, who participated in the invasion the commander of the group, Abu Issa.
Moscow links the success of the negotiations with the U.S. position. “Everything depends on the Americans, whether they are willing to cooperate on a military level to be honest,” said Minister Lavrov on Wednesday evening.”Americans do not want a truce, so I doubt he’s about to be achieved. The main condition of the armistice for the United States is the resignation of Assad,” solidarity in the assessment of Senator Franz Klintsevich.
“To ensure a ceasefire between government troops and Syrian “moderate” rebels would certainly be extremely difficult. There is a struggle of “all against all”, and exclusion from the peacemaking process important players, such as the Kurdish parties which are supported by the US and subjected to artillery strikes by Turkey, has a negative impact on the prospects for the ceasefire”, — said the Deputy, member of state Duma Committee on international Affairs Nikolai Levichev. A full ceasefire is possible only if will stop the infiltration of militants from Turkey to Syria, I’m sure Levichev.
“Five days before the day when there supposed to be a reduction of the fire, there is a feeling that we were in this situation. The provisions of the agreement are very similar to the provisions of the resolutions of the security Council of the UN 2254, adopted in November 2015, This resolution called for an immediate ceasefire and unimpeded passage of humanitarian assistance. But she just has never been implemented,” — noted in a column published in Newsweek, the experts Chatham House Tim Eaton and Gadi Sari.