Russia’s Vladimir Putin said on Saturday he remained “more positive than negative” over the recent shaky ceasefire implemented in Syria, but a senior Syrian Opposition official in Aleppo warned the truce “will not hold out” as some fighting renewed and aid failed to come through.
The ceasefire is the result of an agreement between Russia, which backs Syrian regime head Bashar al-Assad with air power, and the United States, which supports Syrian Opposition groups, and has cooled down clashes since coming into effect last Monday.
According to Reuters, Putin had precariously cast doubt over Washington’s commitment to the deal, saying it was “deviating” from its own call for openness. More so, Putin accused the U.S. for being unable to split moderate from “semi-criminal” opposition fighters.
However, the two agreed on Friday to extend the ceasefire and Putin said that Russia would abide by its own commitments and still believed that securing a Syrian ceasefire was a common goal for both Washington and Moscow.
Officials among the Syrian Opposition say they only reluctantly accepted the initial deal, which they believe is skewed against them, because it could relieve the dire humanitarian situation in besieged areas they control, and blamed Russia for undermining the truce.
“The truce, as we have warned, and we told the (U.S.) State Department – will not hold out,” the Syrian Opposition official told Reuters, pointing to the continued presence of a U.N. aid convoy at the Turkish border awaiting permission to travel to Aleppo.
“It is not possible for the party (Russia) that wages war against a people to strive to achieve a truce, as it is also not possible for it to be a sponsor of this agreement while it bombs night and day, while on the other side, the other party – America – has the role of spectator,” he said.
The United Nations pointed the finger at the Assad regime for holding up aid by denying letters guaranteeing access.
Warplanes strafed or bombed opposition-held areas in Maarat al-Numan, Saraqeb and Khan Sheikhoun in Idlib, Teir Maalah, north of Homs, and Souha, east of Hama, overnight after other strikes earlier on Friday, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.
The Britain-based war monitoring group also reported clashes between the pro-Assad forces and Syrian Opposition fighters, in addition to the shelling overnight over the capital’s Eastern Ghouta suburbs, in Sanaisil and Jawalik, north of Homs, al-Eis and Ramousah, south of Aleppo and Ibta in Deraa.