Truce And Violation In Syria: USA-Russia Clash, UN Helpless, Genocides Likely To Continue!
21 September 2016
By Dr. Abdul Ruff Colachal
The so-called ''Arab Spring'' which got entire Mideast (except nuclear Israel)
destabilized, while in Syria the incumbent president Assad is still defiant,
adamant, and refusing to step down. The USA and Russia back opposing sides in
Syria's five-year civil war, which has left more than 250,000 people dead and
displaced more than 11 million others.
USA and the Syrian opposition seek the removal of President Assad from power
as their main condition for permanent peace in Syria. Russia supports Syrian
government and, just what USA is doing in Syria on usual fake pretexts, kills
Syrians on a special military deal with Assad.
As America was enjoying the horrid scenes of genocides of Muslims in Syria,
Russia also has joined the party by targeting the Syrians by high speed war
planes. As per their plan of fighting wars in alien nations, killing people at
will, US-Russian state terror forces keep killing Muslims in Syria and if that
strategy works, possibly they do the same in other Arab nations as well on
some fictitious pretexts.
As Russia showed some interest in ending the Syrian war at least temporarily,
a partial truce brokered by the USA and Russia in Syria came into effect at
sunset on September 12, the beginning of the Islamic festival of Eid al-Adha.
The Syrian government has given its backing, but a number of rebel groups have
expressed strong reservations and have yet to say whether they will abide by
The cessation agreement included deliveries of humanitarian aid for the worst
hit areas, but by Monday most shipments had yet to go in. They include a
20-lorry convoy for rebel-held eastern Aleppo where about 275,000 civilians
are trapped without access to food or medical supplies. UN Under-Secretary
General for Humanitarian Affairs Stephen O'Brien said he was ''pained and
disappointed'' that the convoy had yet to cross into Syria from Turkey. Some
aid was delivered to the besieged town of Talbiseh in Homs province on Monday,
the Red Cross said.
The deal, which begins with a 48-hour renewable truce, involves three phases:
The Syrian government will stop flying combat missions ''anywhere where the
opposition is present''. Kerry said the government would no longer be able to
use the claim that it was bombing Jabhat Fateh al-Sham fighters to mask
attacks against ''legitimate'' rebels operating in the same areas. Both sides
will be required to allow unimpeded and sustained humanitarian access to all
besieged and hard-to-reach areas. A priority will be the second city of Aleppo
and its surroundings, where as many as two million people live. Government and
rebel forces will pull back from the Castello Road, a major artery running
around the north of the city into the rebel-held east. They will also provide
safe access through the south-western Ramouseh Gap area.
Providing there are seven consecutive days of significantly reduced violence
and humanitarian access, the US and Russia will work together to ''develop
military strikes'' against Jabhat Fateh al-Sham and IS. A Joint Implementation
Centre will be established to share information necessary for the delineation
of territories controlled by jihadist and rebel groups in areas of active
After 10 months of negotiations that the US said were marred by deep
''mistrust'', US Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister
Sergei Lavrov announced that they had reached an agreement on a
''sustainable'' cessation of hostilities that would facilitate negotiations on
a political settlement. If successful, it will see President Bashar al-Assad's
forces ending air strikes on territory controlled by mainstream rebels, and
both sides allowing humanitarian access to besieged areas. It will also lead
to co-ordinated air strikes by the US and Russia against two UN-designated
terrorist organisations – so-called Islamic State and the rival jihadist group
Jabhat Fateh al-Sham, which was known as al-Nusra Front until it broke off
formal ties with al-Qaeda in July and changed its name.
The truce has broadly held since taking effect although the Russian-backed
Syrian army and rebels have accused each other of many violations. Meanwhile,
the UN has warned there is a ''problem'' with getting aid into Syria. Special
envoy Staffan de Mistura placed responsibility on the Syrian government which,
he said, had not yet provided the ''facilitation letters'' that would allow
aid convoys to pass through army checkpoints and reach besieged areas.
Earlier, the Syrian military said its seven-day ''regime of calm'' had
expired. Government-backed air strikes were also reported in the city of Homs
and in the cities of Hama and Idlib. It said rebel groups, which it referred
to as ''terrorists'', had failed to commit to any provisions of the truce
US Secretary of State John Kerry criticised the Syrian declaration, saying:
''It would be good if they didn't talk first to the press but if they talked
to the people who are actually negotiating this.'' He had earlier described
the truce as ''holding but fragile''. Russian military spokesman Lt Gen Sergei
Rudskoi said in a televised statement: ''Considering that the conditions of
the ceasefire are not being respected by the rebels, we consider it pointless
for the Syrian government forces to respect it unilaterally.''
Russia has accused the USA of failing to fulfill its obligations under the
truce agreement in Syria. A defence ministry statement said Washington was
using a ''verbal curtain'' to hide its reluctance to rein in the rebel groups
it supports. ''Only the Syrian army has been observing the ceasefire regime…
while the US-led 'moderate opposition' has been increasing the number of
shellings of residential quarters,'' the ministry statement said. ''Moreover,
it appears that the 'verbal curtain' of Washington is aimed at hiding the
non-fulfillment of the US obligations.'' Russian defence ministry insisted
that, from the very beginning of the truce, Moscow had been fulfilling its
obligations, which includes ensuring that the Syrian air force does not bomb
areas held by mainstream rebel forces and setting up checkpoints in divided
second city of Aleppo. It therefore said it found ''confusing'' recent
comments by US officials that expressed doubts about whether Russia would be
able to deliver.
The USA has not reacted to the comments from Moscow, but the state department
did acknowledge some incidents ''on the part of both the opposition and the
Assad regime'' were continuing.
Meanwhile, with a cessation of hostilities taking effect across Syria, people
across the war-torn country have been sharing photos and videos of themselves
enjoying a rare moment of relative calm. Posts from the divided northern city
of Aleppo have for months been almost exclusively about bombings, destruction
and the suffering of civilians, even before government forces renewed their
siege of rebel-held eastern districts where some 250,000 people live. There
was a sense of relief and cautious optimism after several very difficult
Less than 24 hours after the truce began, Aleppo residents were suggesting
that life was slowly returning to normal – or at least as normal as could be
expected under the circumstances. Social media backed up reports that the
cessation of hostilities was broadly holding. Many users initially provided
frequent updates on whether government and rebel forces were abiding by the
agreement announced on Saturday by Russia and US, who back opposing sides. As
the truce entered its second day, they had switched to sharing photos of
celebrations for the Islamic festival of Eid al-Adha, which also happened to
start on Monday.
The USA, which brokered the deal with Russia, said it was working to extend
the agreement. But it called on Russia to clarify the Syrian statement. ''Our
arrangement is with Russia, which is responsible for the Syrian regime's
compliance, so we expect Russia to clarify their position,'' state department
spokesman John Kirby said.
UK-based monitoring group the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said air
strikes had hit rebel-held areas in Aleppo and villages to the west. Artillery
shelling and air strikes hit Sukkari and Amiriyah, two eastern districts.
The truce was dealt a blow when warplanes from the US-led coalition against
so-called Islamic State (IS) accidentally bombed Syrian troops in the eastern
city of Deir al-Zour. Officials said the strikes killed more than 60 soldiers.
President Bashar al-Assad called them the ''latest example of flagrant
American aggression against Syrian army positions in the interests of the
terrorist organisation Daesh (ISIS)]''. The UK confirmed that British aircraft
– believed to be unmanned, remotely-piloted Reaper drones – had been involved
in the strike, along with jets from Australia and Denmark.
It is, however, too early to tell whether the truce will hold and the calm
last, but after five years of war Syrians are clinging to this moment of hope.
Air strikes have hit rebel-held parts of the Syrian city of Aleppo after the
military declared the current cessation of violence was over. The Syrian
military and rebels have accused each other of repeatedly violating the truce
which began seven days ago.
Murdering of Muslims is not a new thing for both the USA and Russia that claim
to hold further talks on the Syrian situation in New York today. If USA and
Russia are really determined to end war in Syria they will certainly achieve
that objective without more bloodbaths.