Will The New Cessation of Hostilities Hold?
By Moon Of
10, 2016 "Information
and the U.S. agreed to some new Cessation of
Hostilities (CoH) in Syria.
CoH, like the first one in February, comes at a
moment where the Syrian government forces have
an advantage in the field and are on the verge
of renewed offensives.
gives the opposition the time to reorganize and
severely restricts Syrian sovereignty.
Syrian government lacks the capacity for a fully
military solution of the conflict. The agreement
is a possible path to a political solution.
gives the government time to rebuild its army
and to issue and train on new equipment.
- It has
enough flexibility to allow for local escalation
when and where needed.
Syrian government has, according to the
Russians, agreed to it.
parties agreed to keep many details secret to
prevent other actors from spoiling it.
agreement will start on sundown of September 12
timeline, as far as announced or known:
general CoH for with a trial period of 48 hours.
- If the
CoH holds during the trial period it will be
prolonged to one week.
one week successfully passed, the U.S. and
Russia will start common action against al-Qaeda
as AP describes them (there is some doubt that
this is 100% correct):
military deal would go into effect after both
sides abide by the truce for a week and allow
unimpeded humanitarian deliveries. Then, the
U.S. and Russia would begin intelligence sharing
and targeting coordination, while Assad's air
and ground forces would no longer be permitted
to target Nusra any longer; they would be
restricted to operations against the Islamic
arrangement would ultimately aim to step up and
concentrate the firepower of two of the world's
most powerful militaries against Islamic State
and Nusra, listed by the United Nations as
agreement excludes the area in south-west Aleppo
where the recent attempt by al-Nusra and others to
lift the siege on east-Aleppo failed. The Castello
road in north-west Aleppo will be demilitarized to
carry aid. (It is yet unknown who will supervise and
enforce this by what means.)
It looks as
if there has been unseemly resistance to this
agreement by parts of the U.S. government. This may
have been just for show. But it may also be a sign
that Obama lost control of the bureaucracy:
proposed level of U.S.-Russian interaction has
upset several leading national security
officials in Washington, including Defense
Secretary Ash Carter and National Intelligence
Director James Clapper, and Kerry only appeared
at the news conference after several hours of
internal U.S. discussions.
the Geneva announcement, Pentagon secretary
Peter Cook offered a guarded endorsement of the
arrangement and cautioned, "We will be watching
closely the implementation of this understanding
in the days ahead."
deal falls apart, as it is likely to eventually do,
all responsibility will be put onto Secretary of
State Kerry. Indeed the military and intelligence
parts of the U.S. government may well work to
sabotage the deal while Kerry will be presented as
convenient scapegoat whenever it fails.
CoH is unlikely to hold for more than a few weeks:
much is left undefined. This allows any party to
claim the other side broke it whenever
powers who agreed on the deal do not have
control over main elements on the ground.
are too many parties, inside and outside of
Syria, who have an interest in spoiling the CoH.