A new ceasefire in Syria is expected to take effect Monday morning. But since the agreement was announced on Friday, scores of people have been killed and wounded in a burst of violence before the truce takes effect. CCTV’S Malini Wilkes gave us this report.
Syria bursts with violence as negotiated ceasefire approachesA new ceasefire in Syria is expected to take effect Monday morning. But since the agreement was announced on Friday, scores of people have been killed and wounded in a burst of violence before the truce takes effect. CCTV'S Malini Wilkes gave us this report.
A ceasefire is set to take effect Monday at sundown. But over the weekend, a monitoring group said a surge of airstrikes on rebel-held areas left at least 90 people dead, and scores more wounded. Rebels fought back – shelling government-held areas.
Last February’s ceasefire collapsed within weeks, and fighting has escalated throughout the summer.
What’s different about the latest agreement is that the U.S. and Russia can continue strike terror groups like ISIL and al-Qaida-linked militias. The U.S. Secretary of State warned opposition fighters to cut ties to those terrorist groups as soon as possible.
“If groups within the legitimate opposition want to retain their legitimacy they need to distance themselves in every way possible from Nusra and DAESH,” said Kerry. “and we expect that Russia will ensure that the Syrian government will adhere to all of its requirements about its air activities and about the access for humanitarian deliveries.”
Syrian residents are cautiously welcoming the U.S.-Russia agreement to end violence. The deal was reached by those powers, which back opposing sides in the conflict.
Meantime, the Turkish military says its warplanes have killed 20 ISIL fighters in northern Syria as Turkish President Erdogan reiterated his commitment to eliminate ISIL, also known as Daeshin Syria.
“It is our primary duty to our people, to defeat Daesh in Syria and prevent it from staging attacks in Turkey,” said Erdogan.
President Erdogan also pledged to deepen his crackdown on Kurdish militant groups. Last month, Turkish forces crossed into Syria moving against ISIL – but also pushing back Syrian Kurdish fighters. Turkey views them as an extension of the PKK – the Kurdish rebel group that has waged a 30-year-insurgency inside Turkey.
In the midst of so many tangled alliances there are competing interests and unrelenting death and destruction.
With a scheduled ceasefire approaching, there’s hope that battle-weary Syrians are willing to lay down their arms and give the ceasefire a fighting chance.