UN endorses Syrian ceasefire

The UN security Council has unanimously endorsed the Syrian ceasefire deal as well as peace talk plans, but tensions around the ceasefire remain.

BBC: Syria conflict: UN endorses Syria ceasefire deal

The resolution, drafted by Russia, also calls for rapid access for humanitarian aid to be delivered across the country.

The ceasefire, which began just over a day ago, has mostly held.

But Syria’s main rebel alliance had threatened to abandon the truce by 18:00 GMT if the government continued to attack areas under its control.

The Free Syrian Army (FSA) issued the ultimatum to Russia – Syria’s key ally – amid reports of intense bombardment by government forces on the rebel-held Wadi Barada area of Damascus, which the rebels say is in breach of the truce.

Shelling on the area concerned ceased just minutes before the deadline, the group’s legal adviser, Ousama Abou Zeid, said.

If they agreed to a ceasefire why would they keep bombing? That doesn’t seem a good way of working towards a peace agreement.

The UN resolution comes against a backdrop of deadlock among the veto-wielding members of the Security Council, with Russia supporting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and the US, UK and France insisting he must step down as part of any deal to end the war.

Russia and Turkey also back opposite sides in the conflict, with Turkey supporting the rebellion against Mr Assad.

While Syria, Russia, Turkey and the UN appear to be working in the right direction the highly factionalised civil and international war looks to be far from over.

It applies across Syria but does not cover certain rebel groups including the jihadists of so-called Islamic State (IS) and Jabhat Fateh al-Sham (JFS), and the Kurdish YPG militia.

They are a significant part of the Syrian problems.

93181891_iraq_syria_control_28_12_2016_624map

It’s going to take a lot of resolve and probably quite a lot more fighting to sort that mess out.

I wonder if Russia is moving on peace agreements now while the US is trapped between the Obama and Trump administrations.

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7 Comments

  1. Alan Wilkinson

     /  1st January 2017

    Putin is certainly exploiting Obama’s impotence and exposing his empty rhetoric, as he has successfully done for years now. Watching Trump handle him will be interesting.

    Reply
    • Obama has been very disappointing.

      Trump will have to get up to speed quickly. And he has to be wary of being played by Russia, who seem to know how to stoke his ego.

      Putin may have worked out how to deal to Trump far better then Clinton did.

      Reply
    • Gezza

       /  2nd January 2017

      “Watching Trump handle him will be interesting.”

      I’ll say. I’d put it the other way round. I’ll be interested to see how Putin handles him. Vladimir is far smarter than the average bear.

      Reply
  2. That map shows something that will mean the fighting doesn’t stop for a long time…. there is a proto Kurdish state building out of Northern Iraq across northern Syria. It will be very interesting to see if it coalesces in to an actual nation state….

    Reply
  3. Does not this report really show how ineffective the UN is? Who apart from NZ and the US actually pay their membership fees? I see that routinely the US pays annually some $US 8 billion with $US 1,6 billion arrears at present and NZ pays $6 million plus small change. NZ is the 23rd of about 27 members who paid on time this year. He who pays the piper etc.

    Reply
  4. Gezza

     /  1st January 2017

    The Syrian conflict is one in which I wouldn’t even attempt to make any firm predictions, though I took quite few punts on the impacts of the invasions of Iraq & Afghanistan, quite a few of which were right so far, though I never foresaw Al Qaeda breeding ISIS and their Caliphate.

    When the Syrian conflict began big time I expected and hoped that the Kurds would finally win their own independent state (or a reasonable-sized one across their provinces in Syria and Iraq) but now with the involvement of Turkey I am less certain of that prospect being achieved.

    The constantly shifting alliances of all the rebel factions, most of whom it appears are Islamic fundamentalistts of one stripe or another, and the Russian and Turkish and Iranian/Iraqi Shia involvement, all significantly cloud the crystal ball, but it looks like Assad’s regime will regain control of most areas a rump state, maybe.

    The US has been reduced to a bit-player, mostly in the role of flying artillery against ISIS from time to time. Whether Assad is still to any extent a free agent, or is now effectively completely under the control, licence & sufferance of Russia I’m not sure, but probably the latter. Nobody knows what secret deals have been done, and will be done between Russia and Turkey, but they certainly seem to be in control of events in their preferred spheres of interest there.

    Assad was on his last legs. “Ceasefires”have been bad jokes that went completely unobserved from their announced day 1. As we’ve seen, events change rapidly, directions change rapidly, alliances of strange bedfellows with both shared and competing or conflicting interests have formed and changed rapidly and nothing any of the major protagonists say can be taken at face value or as indicating their true intent.

    All I want to do is sit back & watch, I have no idea where this is going.

    Reply
    • Conspiratoor

       /  1st January 2017

      Russia’s interest in Syria is solely strategic G. She wants a base in mediterranean. Now she has achieved that goal Trump will stand by and allow Putin to brutalise the locals into submission. Things will start to settle down for a while until Vlad moves ahead with the next stage of his plan. Cheers,c

      Reply

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