US, Russia and UN agree Syria ‘cessation of hostilities’ to take effect next week

by  |  published on February 12, 2016

Diplomats attempting to negotiate an end to Syria’s bloody civil war said Thursday that they had agreed to try and implement a temporary “cessation of hostilities” in a week’s time as Russia’s prime minister warned that the use of foreign ground troops in the conflict could result in world war.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry hailed the agreement as a significant accomplishment. However, the ISIS and al Nusra Front terror groups will not be involved in the truce – and Russia has said it will be continuing its bombing campaign.

Kerry himself admitted that the agreements were “commitments on paper” only, adding that a cessation-of-hostilities agreement would only be a “pause” in fighting and that more work would need to be done to turn it into a full-fledged cease-fire.

“The real test is whether or not all the parties honor those commitments and implement them,” he told reporters after the nearly six-hour meeting at a Munich hotel, which ran into the early hours of Friday.

Although foreign ministers from the International Syria Support Group managed to seal an agreement to “accelerate and expand” deliveries of humanitarian aid to besieged Syrian communities beginning this week, their failure to agree on a hard-and-fast cease-fire leaves the most critical step to resuming peace talks unresolved.

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