Syrian Ceasefire Deal Remains in Place amid Sporadic Crossfires
The Syrian government and opposition on Dec. 30, 2016 reached a ceasefire agreement, as peace talks brokered by Turkey and Russia are due in Kazakhstan in January, in an attempt to find a final end to the conflict.
“The agreement is fragile because, first, the ceasefire is not widely reached. The opposition in the central and northern regions joined, but those in the southern region didn’t. The ceasefire lacked oversight and a coordinated mechanism to stop any attempt to destroy it and take actions against such an attempt,” said Mohammad Alomari, a political analyst.
The Wadi Barada in Damascus’s western suburbs now has become a hot area for intensive fighting.
Syrian forces continued their fighting there as they claimed that the area is a stronghold of the terrorist organization, al-Nusra Front, but the opposition said it’s the Syrian government that violates the agreement.
But political analyst Mazen Bilal said the warfare in Wadi Barada won’t have an obvious impact on the ceasefire agreement but it will matter a lot for several million Damascus residents as the area works as a water source.
“I don’t think the warfare in Wadi Barad can influence the ceasefire. It’s not a key factor although its location is very important. The fighting there will work as a model for actions against al-Nusra Front,” Bilal said.
In 2016, two ceasefires were brokered by the United States and Russia but failed in the end.
But analyst said this agreement is likely to continue because of Turkey’s role in the ceasefire.
“This ceasefire is controlled better than those before which were destroyed as armed forces can’t be handled well. Turkey, as one party of this agreement, will have a direct influence on the rebels,” Bilal added.