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Washington and Moscow Welcome 1st Day of “Green Zone” Syrian Ceasefire - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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Syrian man on a street in Damascus on the first day of the truce -A.F.P

Syrian man on a street in Damascus on the first day of the truce -A.F.P

Syria, on Saturday, witnessed the first official day of the “green zone”- defined as those parts of Syria held by groups that have accepted the cessation of hostilities- truce take effect. Fighting, however, still continues in ISIS domineered regions. Only yesterday, confrontation was witnessed in the Ar-Raqqah Governorate town of Tel Abyad.

The truce, which some experts predicted would cover 10 percent of Syrian grounds, was subjected to multiple violations since its launch. The Syrian Opposition’s alliance has documented 15 violations between the regime and the Syrian Opposition. Western reports from officials of intelligence services in Europe and Israel said that the ceasefire might unpredictably play into Bashar al Assad’s benefit. The ceasefire might reinforce Assad’s grip on take-office instruments for the upcoming few years.

More importantly, should the ceasefire prove successful, it could avert the possibility of the non-official division of Syria. All that remains a concern, despite western countries have announced the target on preserving Syria as a single entity.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on Friday made a phone call to his peer U.S. Secretary John Kerry welcoming the effective Syrian ceasefire phase beginning.

The Riyadh-based High Negotiations Committee (HNC) has requested that safe routes be provided for those wishing to escape as to truly meet the terms of the truce. Chief of the main operations department of the Russian General Staff, Sergey Rudskoy announced that Russian fighters will suspend all “green zone” operations in Syria.
“To exchange information with US colleagues, we’ve developed a map of the situation on the ground in Syria, and this map has been given to the US side during bilateral consultations on February 26, and also via military and diplomatic channels. On this map, one can see the regions where the peace process is on, and also the areas controlled by ISIS, Al-Nusra, or other armed groups,” Rudskoy said.

The U.S. – Russian plan, which has been accepted both by Assad’s regime and the Syrian Opposition, resolves to a ceasefire for humanitarian relief to reach civilians and end-war discussions to begin.