… from Russia Today, Moscow
– First published … February 27, 2016 –
[ Editor’s Note: The guns are falling silent in many parts of Syria, a blessing for those who live in those areas where 97 opposition groups have signed onto the ceasefire. We knew that ISIL and al-Nusra who were not included would make some show of force, hitting soft targets, and they have.
Mortar shelling was reported in the outlying Damascus areas, and yes, the expected car and suicide bombers who randomly murder people. But their acts will just make the Syrian people hate them more and support the Syrian coalition in sweeping the country clean of them.
We will be getting through the worst of the winter weather, which should help with all the temporary construction that is going to be needed in places where infrastructure has been destroyed. Assad has offered to have parliamentary elections in April for a show of support early in the negotiations. Groups like the FSA will not break 5%, which will undermine their demands to rule the roost with big brother Washington.
Next week we will see what kind of an offensive shift we will see focused onto al-Nusra and ISIL to free the territory they control, so humanitarian aid can get into those critical areas. We will also begin to get a lot more stories about what it was like living under the US coalition terror brigades.
Expect a steady stream of snide remarks coming out of the White House press conferences, while the Russian coordination center is doing the heavy lifting with the continued air support for the SAA, and also coordination relief supplies because it has the ability to do so… Jim W. Dean ]
Russia’s military have stopped all airstrikes on those areas and armed groups which joined the ceasefire in Syria, the General Staff has said at a briefing.
“Russia has fully stopped carrying out airstrikes in “the green zone – those areas and armed units that have sent us requests for a ceasefire,” the chief of the main operations department of the Russian General Staff, Sergey Rudskoy, has told reporters.
The Syrian army and 17 armed units have pledged to abide by the ceasefire, he added.
“On February 23, the Syrian army declared that they have agreed to stop military action, in accordance with the US-Russia deal. Seventeen armed units addressed the command of the Hmeimim air base, and signed the application sheets, also pledging to respect the ceasefire,” Rudskoy said.
Seventy Russian drones will be monitoring the ceasefire, it’s been announced. ‘Hotlines’ have been created to ensure the quick exchange of information between the Russian ceasefire coordinating center in Hmeimim, Syria and the US one in Amman, Jordan.
“To provide help in ensuring peace in Syria, the ceasefire center was set up at the Hmeimim air base. Sixty-one Russian officers work there, and its main goals are to help seal the special ceasefire deals, and to sustain ceasefire with the armed groups’ leaders, and to deliver humanitarian aid to the population,” Lieutenant-General Sergey Kuralenko, the head of Russia’s ceasefire headquarters in Hmeimim, told the briefing.
Recently, the Hmeimim ceasefire center received 169 phone calls and e-mails. Fighting has stopped in 34 residential areas, the Defense Ministry confirmed. The Russian Defense Ministry has also provided the US military with its current situation map in Syria.
“To exchange information with US colleagues, we’ve developed a map of the situation on the ground in Syria, and this map has been given to the US side during bilateral consultations on February 26, and also via military and diplomatic channels. On this map, one can see the regions where the peace process is on, and also the areas controlled by IS, Al-Nusra, or other armed groups,” Rudskoy said.
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