Despite the recent agreement for ceasefire, Russia has continued attacks on Syria
Julia Camera | Contributor
Russian warplanes soared through northern Syria, bombing rebel regimes and breaching the ceasefire on Sunday.
The US and Russia instilled the ceasefire on Feb. 27 in hopes of bringing urgent support to parts of the country that have suffered greatly from the present conflict. The truce followed five days of constant airstrikes between Russia and the rebel regime, as reported in The Guardian.
The present truce is meant to provide an avenue for peaceful negotiation in a meeting with the United Nations scheduled for March 9. While a series of peace talks concerning Syria have provided a space for negotiation, an attempt to continue the conversation failed last month when a government airstrike, supported by Russia, attacked the areas of Syria occupied by the rebel regime.
The stumbling blocks in the ceasefire are countless as the truce excludes ISIS and al-Qaeda, along with other terrorist groups. A difficult factor in the negotiation for peace will be dealing with the league of rebels and the involvement of the Kurds in the discussion. According to RT News, the UN must incorporate this league into the peace negotiation.
On day one of the truce, the Syrian Network for Human Rights reported 14 infringements by both Russia and the Syrian regime, according to Time. The breach killed two civilians and 13 militants. Though both the Russian and regime artilleries are involved in the conflict, the question of who fired the first shot remains uncertain.
Russians accused rebels of nine different attempts to breach the truce, but the violations came as no surprise to some, including the rebel forces. The truce “applies only to the Assad regime and its allies and an array of rebel groups fighting the government in Damascus” according to Time.
Lina Kahtib, a Syria analyst and senior research associate with the Arab Reform Initiative, expressed surprise at the length of the ceasefire.
“I think in many ways the truce has positively surprised many people by lasting for a few days,” Kahtib said, as reported in Time. “However, we have to remember that this is a truce that applies to two very limited areas in Syria, and it’s a precarious truce that is contingent on no mistakes happening.”
While the ceasefire should theoretically be carried throughout the country, Russia and its allies have reserved the right to attack ISIS. In the truce agreement, however, these sanctions are not applicable to the ceasefire, according to Al Jazeera.
If Russia continues to attack these groups, it will result in civilian casualties. While the U.S. continues to work with Russia to decipher which regions are ceasefire-approved and which are not, large portions of Syrian territory, primarily in the east and far north, remain in warring conflict, as reported in Al Jazeera.