Reflections

In Syria, the Stakes Are High, but the Deck Is Stacked

Sep 13, 2016 | 01:51 GMT
In Syria, the Stakes Are High, but the Deck Is Stacked
Many Syrians welcomed the cease-fire that fell across the country Sept. 12, on the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha. But not everyone is happy with the deal.
(MOHAMAD ABAZEED/AFP/Getty Images)

Today at dusk across Syria, a tenuous calm settled in even in the country's most war-torn corners. This evening's cease-fire happens to coincide with a key holiday in the Muslim world, Eid al-Adha, and the break in violence was heartily welcomed. But even amid relief, Syrians and the warring parties in the country's yearslong civil war have ushered in the long-awaited deal with great apprehension. Though the cease-fire was the product of 10 months of painstaking negotiations among numerous stakeholders, primarily the United States and Russia, previous negotiated lulls in the Syrian civil war have quickly fallen apart. This reality hung over the Sept. 10 announcement of the deal between Moscow and Washington, further benefits of which rest on the tenacity of the truce. If the cease-fire begun this evening does not hold over the next seven days, it is largely back to the drawing board, creating even further delay...

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