Reflections

The Irony of the Syrian Cease-Fire's Failure

Sep 29, 2016 | 00:25 GMT
The Irony of the Syrian Cease-Fire's Failure
Syrian government forces, with Russian support, continue to drop bombs on rebel-held parts of Aleppo, bringing negotiations to de-escalate the civil war back to the brink of collapse.
(KARAM AL-MASRI/AFP/Getty Images)

If there was ever any hope of salvaging the latest cease-fire in Syria, there isn't anymore. Forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al Assad continue to attack the rebel-held portions of Aleppo with the support of large and indiscriminate Russian airstrikes. On Wednesday, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry told his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, that Washington is preparing to "suspend U.S.-Russia bilateral engagement on Syria," including on a proposed counterterrorism partnership, "unless Russia takes immediate steps to end the assault" and restore the cease-fire. Moscow, however, is unlikely to comply; the loyalists remain as determined as ever to retake the city, and the Russian military is equally determined to assist them in that effort. Negotiations to de-escalate the Syrian civil war are on the brink of collapse....

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