The Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad delivered a speech yesterday during which it appeared that he was trying to give Syrians two options; war and “standing by terrorists” (as he describes the actions of his opponents) or “peace and security”. He also called on opposition fighters to surrender themselves and their weapons so that they can be pardoned.
Assad offered a “complete amnesty” to opposition fighters in an interview with a German television channel as opposed to “laying down arms”. Meanwhile, aeroplanes dropped leaflets in the countryside of Daraa and eastern Ghouta asking citizens to confront “strangers” who, according to his claims, are “the cause of killing, displacement and destruction”.
The Syrian opposition fears that the latest Russian proposal on federalism reflects Russian and American concord on the future plan for the establishment of federations in the country despite the field map suggesting that those affected by the matter are the Syrian Kurds who receive military support from Russia and the United States alike. While the Kurds assert that they did not ask Russia to assist in the establishment of federalism, a Kurdish source told Asharq Al-Awsat that the latest Russian request “is not contrary to the agreement with the Americans” and indicated that “federalism can only be achieved in Syria if the Kurds are key to that”.
A US official told Asharq Al-Awsat that there are ongoing consultations between Washington and Moscow to ensure the implementation of the cessation of hostilities in Syria agreement. These consultations include the exchange of detailed maps of where fighting is taking place, areas where the truce is applicable and areas that are ISIS strongholds. The paths of aircrafts without a pilot will also be monitored, information from satellites will be exchanged and discussions held on how to push for the delivery of humanitarian aid to besieged areas and the convening of peace talks.