The U.S. and Russia working together against the terrorist militant group Islamic State and an affiliate of al-Qaeda in Syria revived a truce that compels Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s ground and air forces to pull back allowing in new humanitarian aid that is badly needed.
Those were details that emerged on Saturday as John Kerry the U.S. Secretary of State and Sergey Lavrov the Foreign Minister of Russia ended another marathon session in Geneva that represents their latest push towards ending the devastating complex Syria war.
The breakthrough deal that launches a cessation nationwide of fighting by Monday at sundown, hinges on compliance by Assad’s forces that are backed by Russia and rebel groups supported by the U.S.
In addition, key powers in certain regions like Iran, Saudi Arabia and Turkey with their hands indirectly or directly involved in the war that has spanned 5 ½ years must also support the pact.
Kerry said he and Lavrov believe the plan as it is, if first implemented, then followed, has the chance to provide a big turning point in the conflict. He said this as he and Lavrov outlined the plan.
The end hope is silence the guns in Syria so the peace process that has long been stalled under mediation from the UN could resume between envoys of Assad and opposition representatives, while the U.S. and Russia continue focusing on battling jihadis.
This new deal, for now and publicly, appears as if it overcomes months of Russia and U.S. distrust that President Obama had cited just last week.
Now, the two world powers have lined up a new, unexpected military partnership that targets ISIS and militants with links to al-Qaeda to end the devastating civil war that has taken the lives of over 500,000 people while displacing millions.
Lavrov said this was the start of new relationship referring to the U.S.
Washington has to persuade rebels in Syria to break their ranks with Fath al-Sham a group linked to al-Qaeda known previously as Nusra Front, which had fought together with some fighters that are U.S. backed.
Moscow will pressure the Assad government to stop all its offenses against the opposition in specific areas, of which none were listed.
Lavrov said the government of Syria was informed of the arrangements and was ready to fulfill them.
Kerry said arrangements depend on choices by people. It has the chance to stick provided the opposition and regime both meet the obligations asked of them, which, we support and strongly encourage them to fulfill.