As Truce Starts, Russia Tells Free Syrian Army to Stop Fighting Kurds

TeleSur | – –

Moscow added it would continue its own air strikes against the Islamic State group and the militants formerly known as the Nusra Front

Russia’s Defense Ministry called on Free Syrian Army militants to “stop fighting Kurdish units,” as the cease-fire announced last week began in the war-torn nation.

The ministry, which also said it was considering a Syrian military request to supply cease-fire monitoring gear, made its comments in a Moscow news conference Monday. The cease-fire, which started at 1600 GMT, would be monitored using drones, according to the Russians. The Syrian army has said that it would be ready to diligently do its bit to uphold the agreement.

Hours before the start of a Russian and American-backed cease-fire, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad vowed to take back all of Syria. Meanwhile, Moscow added it would continue its own air strikes against the Islamic State group and the militants formerly known as the Nusra Front.

It said a joint U.S.-Russian coordination center was being set up to determine Russian and U.S.-led coalition targets.

Via TeleSur

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Related video added by Juan Cole:

AFP: “Syria ceasefire takes effect in Aleppo, scepticism persists”

One response

  1. If this truce even gets off the ground, it will be a matter of days before it breaks down. For reasons that have been discussed endlessly here and need not be repeated for fear of boredom, Russia’s interests in Syria are almost diametrically opposed to those of the United States. Even the idea of a joint U.S.-Russian coordinated air campaign will run afoul of which rebel groups to target.

    The sad fact is that Russia has been in the driver’s seat ever since President Obama laid down “Red Lines” when Assad used chemical weapons, and then pulled the rug out from his threat to send cruise missiles into Damascus, using the excuse of letting Congress decide. Both Obama and Kerry, and consequently the United States, looked weak and feckless. They violated the first rule of international relations: You don’t make threats you are unprepared to follow through on. To quote Napoleon, “If you say you will take Vienna, take Vienna!”

    In fact, the U.S. has no interests in Syria and should never have become involved in the first place. for 45 years we managed our interests in the Near East while the Assad family–first Hafez then Bashar–ruled Syria. Both were SOBs. But just as Saddam Hussain was an SOB who at least maintained a stable country and provided a bulwark against Iranian adventurism, so, too, until the recent internal and external turmoil, have the Assads provided stability. If the Syrian people (or at least a segment of the population) wanted to rise up, so be it. But the United States had no obligation to engage in “humanitarian” intervention. Secretary of State John Quincy Adams’ statement in 1821 has never been more applicable: “[The United States] is the well-wisher to the freedom and independence of all. She is the champion and vindicator only of her own.”

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