Attacks on Civilians Evident
Amid the recent agreement by the Assad regime and its opposition for a truce in Syria, the United States of America expressed deep concern over reports that both sides have continued violations of the Cessation of Hostilities.
In his remarks in Washington DC, Assistant Secretary John Kirby said the US is concerned about the attacks on civilians and opposition forces by the regime and its supporters amid the truce agreed just two weeks ago.
“We call again on all parties to meet their obligations and immediately halt all such attacks.” – Mr. Kirby
He highlighted that the United States will also continue working to secure full and unimpeded humanitarian access to all parts of Syria, including to besieged and hard-to-reach places such as Daraya.
Good Outcomes of Cessation of Hostilities
According to Mr. Kirby, The Cessation of Hostilities has produced a dramatic reduction in violence in Syria and permitted humanitarian access to begin in some besieged areas.
However, Mr. Kirby highlighted that the effort to stop the hostilities in Syria also needs the united effort of the international community to stop the violence, end the sieges permanently, deliver the aid, and release detainees, particularly women and children.
“We are at a critical moment in this conflict.” – Mr. Kirby
Thus, it calls for both warring sides in Syria to abide by their obligations and end the conflict for good.
Cessation of Hostilities in Syria Still Holding
According to Mr. Kirby, the Cessation of Hostilities in Syria is still largely holding after two weeks since it took effect.
He emphasized that none of the armed factions, nor the High Negotiations Committee (HNC) itself, has indicated they want the Cessation to end, and so the United States, the UN, and other members of the International Syria Support Group (ISSG) consider it still in effect.
In addition, they also regard as active participants all armed factions that at the outset indicated adherence to the Cessation and are thus covered by its provisions, as are the regime and its backers.
Guns Fell Silent Across Syria
After five years since the internal war started tormenting Syria, fighting came to a halt earlier this month after a landmark UN-backed ceasefire came into effect.
According to media reports, fighting mostly stopped across western and northern Syria. Also, Russia stopped air strikes which paved the way for aid to reach civilians who are in need of humanitarian help.
Many hope the truce will be the beginning of the path to peace and end of civil war in Syria where an estimated 270,000 people died and 11 million people were displaced.