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Russian-American Agreement to Protect Assad’s Strongholds - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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A Russian- American agreement to re-establish the ceasefire in the Syrian regime strongholds of Latakia and Damascus was announced yesterday. Aleppo, a stronghold of the opposition that has been brutally shelled recently by the Syrian regime forces, was excluded from the ceasefire. The shelling in Aleppo was supported by Russian planes and resulted in many deaths and casualties.

A security source in Damascus said that the ceasefire came as a response to “the request made by Americans and Russians who met in Geneva to defuse the situation in Damascus and Ghouta for 48 hours and in Latakia for 72 hours”. The source added “The Americans asked for the ceasefire to include Aleppo, but the Russians refused to do so”.

The US special envoy to Syria Michael Ratney said that the agreement, called “Silence Regime”, aims to “re-establish general commitment to the terms of the truce, and is not a new local agreement for a ceasefire”.

The United Nations described the situation in Aleppo as “catastrophic” after dozens of people were killed over the past few days in bombings, the targets of which included a hospital. A Syrian activist said that more than a hundred people were killed during the last 24 hours.

Meanwhile, Russia’s announcement that the Syrian regime’s forces are planning attacks on Deir Ez-Zor and Raqqa with the support of the Russian air force demonstrates the strong coordination between Moscow and Washington to fight ISIS in Syria. According to members of the Syrian opposition, this is paving the way for Moscow and Washington’s allies to participate in making progress on the ground at the same time that air strikes are taking place.

On its part, Saudi Arabia expressed its condemnation and denunciation of the raids carried out by the Syrian regime’s forces on the city of Aleppo and demanded the international community and Bashar Al-Assad’s allies to take the necessary measures to stop these attacks and all the crimes committed by Bashar Al-Assad and his associates against the Syrian people.