Secretary of State John Kerry and Sergey V. Lavrov, Russia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, announced that they had come to an agreement of a partial cease-fire in Syria and to deliver humanitarian aid to the over 13 million Syrians suffering in the war-torn nation.
Foreign ministers from the International Syria Support Group, which includes the U.K., United States and Russia, agreed to the pact early Friday morning in Munich.
“We have agreed to implement a nationwide cessation of hostilities in one week’s time,” Kerry said. “That is ambitious.”
It is actually not a complete cease-fire, but rather a “cessation of hostilities.” Not the most promising language, but it is progress never-the-less.
Kerry said the actions would be “a pause” in military action while food and aid is airdropped and transported into the hardest hit areas of the country.
The immediate intention of the nationwide Syrian ceasefire is to allow humanitarians to bring life-saving aid to war victims in Aleppo and elsewhere. This is a nation where 4.4 million have fled and millions have been displaced.
Jakob Kern of the World Food Program in Syria commented this week about the worsening conditions in Syria and how they’re moving towards a breaking point:
“The situation is quite volatile and fluid in northern Aleppo with families on the move seeking safety. We are extremely concerned as access and supply routes from the north to eastern Aleppo city and surrounding areas are now cut off but we are making every effort to get enough food in place for all those in need, bringing it in through the remaining open border crossing point from Turkey.”
The real problem is that the United States and Russia agreed to the partial cease-fire, but the parties that started the Syrian Civil War back in March 2011, Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad and the rebels have not agreed to shit. It sounds super beneficial and makes the diplomats of Russia and the U.S. look like heroes, but in all actuality it doesn’t really accomplish any long-term goals if there’s still a civil war raging, plus Islamic State will be in the shadows attempting to influence the area.
“The real test is whether all the parties honor those commitments,” Kerry said. He is referring to the fact that Russia is allies with the ousted al-Assad, who would love the rebels to disappear.
The cease-fire excludes ISIS and the Nusra Front, both of which are designated as terrorist organizations by the United Nations. The question remains, will the participating bombing nations continue assaults on actual terrorists or those who they deem to be terrorists?