There’s a Fragile Ceasefire Holding in Syria. Now What?

The U.S and Russian governments negotiated a weeklong ceasefire, in part to get desperately needed aid to Aleppo and other Syrian cities. But will it hold?
 

By Rhonda FanningSeptember 16, 2016 12:39 pm|

Earlier this week the U.S. and Russia reached a tenuous ceasefire in Syria, with the hope that the reduction in hostilities will allow much needed aid to be delivered to civilians. Over the past five years, violence there has left nearly 400,000 dead, with billions of dollars in damages.

Thus far, that truce is being mostly upheld – but some at the Pentagon say they aren’t too happy about how the ceasefire deal was brokered.

Joshua Keating, who writes for Slate, says the full text of the actual deal hasn’t been released yet, but the agreement outlined a “dramatic” reduction in violence in the first week of the ceasefire. “If that happens,” he says, “after seven days, the U.S. and Russia will begin cooperation on targeting both ISIS and Al Qaeda-linked militant groups on the ground in Syria.”

Skeptics of the deal brokered in part by Secretary of State John Kerry centers around how Russia will approach this ceasefire.

“There are concerns that this will benefit the Russia position and Syrian president Bashar al-Assad,” he says. “What the Syrian government and the Russians have consistently done is use the excuse of attacking terrorists to attack all rebel groups.”

What you’ll hear in this segment:

– Why it’s difficult to differentiate terrorist groups from rebel groups on the ground in Syria

– How the ceasefire has gone so far and what’s happening with aid deliveries on the border of Syria and Turkey

– What U.S. military leaders think of Russian intentions in Syria and how that affects the future of the ceasefire