Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Syria Tests Russian-Turkish Ceasefire | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Beirut, Ankara – Syria is expected to test on Friday the Russian-Turkish ceasefire announced on Thursday by President Vladimir Putin to include the entire Syrian areas, expect those controlled by ISIS and Kurds.

The agreement, which has entered into effect on the night of Thursday-Friday, includes three scenarios: a ceasefire guaranteed by Russia and Turkey, a monitoring mechanism, and the opening of all doors that might lead to an inclusive deal.

The Syrian army and its linked armed forces announced a nationwide halt to fighting on the entire Syrian territory starting Thursday night, while Russia’s Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said the main armed opposition forces, with a total of 62,000 opposition fighters throughout Syria, have signed the truce agreement with the Syrian regime, including Ahrar Al-Sham movement.

However, a spokesperson from Ahrar Al-Sham said the group had some reservations concerning the ceasefire agreement and the start of negotiations, adding that the movement was not among the groups that signed the deal.

The deal involves three documents: The first one is placed between the Syrian regime and the armed opposition concerning a ceasefire that involves the entire Syrian territory. The second document involves the establishment of a new hotline intended to monitor compliance with the peace deal. As for the third document, it stipulates that all warring parties announce their readiness to launch peace talks.

For his part, Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Thursday in a television interview that Ankara will be the guarantor of the opposition and Russia will be the guarantor of the regime.

Cavusoglu also said all foreign fighter groups in Syria including the so-called Hezbollah need to leave the country.

“All foreign fighters need to leave Syria. Hezbollah needs to return to Lebanon,” Cavusoglu said.

In a linked development, the Popular Campaign for Relief of Syrian people ordered to be organized by the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud all over the Kingdom has received until Thursday a sum of $74.1 million.