Daily Management Review

Opposition Blamed for Violations by Assad as he Backs Truce


Opposition Blamed for Violations by Assad as he Backs Truce
While accusing the opposition of violating the agreement intended to halt nearly five years of fighting, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad described the cessation of hostilities in force since Saturday as a "glimmer of hope".
On the other hand allegations of breaching the fragile truce by repeatedly attacking its positions have been leveled against the government by the opposition which has been denied by the Assad government.
While stressing that the level of violence has decreased considerably, international observers have acknowledged violations of the agreement
"We will play our part to make the whole thing work," Assad was quoted as saying in an extract of an interview with Germany's ARD television network.
With the aim of giving the agreement a chance, the Syrian army had not reacted to truce violations, the president said.
"The terrorists have breached the deal from the first day. We as the Syrian Army are refraining from responding in order to give a chance to sustain the agreement. But in the end there are limits and it all depends on the other side," Assad said.
He also said people in Syria were suffering from a "humanitarian disaster".
While forcing millions to flee their homes, the Syrian civil war has killed at least 250,000 people. The cessation of hostilities will allow it to deliver aid to more than 150,000 people in besieged areas of Syria, hopes the United Nations.
The cessation of hostilities agreement is also seen by the United Nations as an opportunity to revive peace talks, which collapsed before they had even started a month ago in Geneva. The cease fire agreement was drawn up by the United States and Russia.
There was an urgent need to implement the agreement and for the warring parties to return to the negotiating table, the U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said in a U.N. statement.
"They agreed on the importance of urgently moving forward simultaneously on implementing the cessation of hostilities agreement, providing vital humanitarian assistance to civilians, and returning to political negotiations," the statement said.
There was currently no evidence to suggest they would destabilize the fragile peace even as efforts were being made to track down alleged violations of the cessation of hostilities, said U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Monday.
The Islamic State and the Nusra Front were not part of the agreement and Assad and his Russian backers have made clear they intend to keep attacking the jihadist groups.  
Fear of being targeted by Assad and Russia were expressed by the Saudi-backed "moderate" opposition because some of their fighters are located in areas alongside Nusra.
It was refraining from striking areas in Syria where the "moderate opposition" was respecting the ceasefire agreement, Interfax news agency reported quoting the Russian Defense Ministry.
Interfax quoted the Russian military as saying that a total of 15 ceasefire violations have been registered in Syria in the past 24 hours.
The Syrian military blamed the "terrorist groups" for the violations and denied the it was responsible for any violations. Operations against Islamic State and the Nusra Front were going ahead.

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