Tense Calm In Syria After Truce

The US, Russia and Jordan have brokered a truce between the Syrian regime and rebel forces that was scheduled to be enforced on Sunday, July 9, 2017, midday. This deal was agreed upon on Friday at the G20 summit in Hamburg. There are three provinces where the truce was meant to take place, Deraa, Suweida and Quneitra in the south-west, along the Jordanian border.

A first of its kind two-hour meeting between the US President Donald Trump and his Russian counterpart, President Vladimir Putin, was held on the sidelines of the G20 summit where the truce was settled.

Yesterday, Saturday, July 8, 2017, several reports from a monitoring group suggested that the concerned areas were relatively calm save for sporadic strikes by the Syrian regime. The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported, on Saturday, that the Syrian government shelled two villages in the northern countryside of Deraa.

According to Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, Russian troops would be deployed on the ground to help monitor the ceasefire.

It is important to note that the deal is separate from the previously agreed upon “de-escalation zones” deal by Russia, Turkey and Iran. The US stayed away from that one because of Iran’s involvement in the deal. Follow-up talks, which were held this week in Kazakhstan, were unable to bear any fruit with regards to the pre-agreed upon “de-escalation zones.”

A new round of UN-sponsored peace talks are slated for Monday, July 10, 2017, in Geneva. It is also important to note that previous UN-sponsored peace talks, which were renewed early this year, have not been fruitful.

This only reinforces the theory that the West is simply too engaged in the affairs of this poor nation. It’s not fair for two old men who have no idea of the suffering of such a poor and war-ravished nation to simply sit down and decide its state of affairs, on a whim or otherwise. Aren’t they capable of dealing with their own issues and working out a truce by themselves? While on that subject, previous attempts at reaching a truce have failed. How is this time any different? What about the other regions not covered by the ceasefire agreement? Is fighting allowed to go on over there or stop? It can be interpreted that it is okay to fight in other places, except for these three regions.

Ferdinand Bada
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