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Cessation of Hostilities in Syria


Children stand along a street as an aid convoy of Syrian Arab Red Crescent and United Nation (UN) drives through the rebel held besieged city of Douma towards the besieged town of Kafr Batna to deliver aid, on the outskirts of Damascus, Syria, Feb. 23, 2

“This cessation will not only lead to a decline in violence, but also continue to expand the delivery of urgently needed humanitarian supplies."

On February 22, the United States and Russia, as co-chairs of the International Syria Support Group, or ISSG, and the ISSG Ceasefire Task Force, announced the adoption of a broad cessation of hostilities in Syria. They established terms for the cessation of hostilities and proposed that it commence at midnight Damascus time, on February 27, 2016.

If implemented and adhered to, said Secretary Kerry, “this cessation will not only lead to a decline in violence, but also continue to expand the delivery of urgently needed humanitarian supplies to besieged areas and support a political transition to a government that is responsive to the desires of the Syrian people.”

The terms for a cessation of hostilities state that the nationwide cessation of hostilities is to apply to any party currently engaged in military or paramilitary hostilities against any other parties other than “Daesh”, “Jabhat al-Nusra”, or other terrorist organizations designated by the UN Security Council.

“Over the coming days,” said Secretary Kerry, “we will be working to secure commitments from key parties that they will abide by the terms of this cessation of hostilities and further develop modalities for monitoring and enforcement.”

“This is a moment of promise, but the fulfillment of that promise depends on actions,” said Secretary Kerry. “All parties must meet their commitments under this agreement, ensure full implementation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 2254, and cease attacks on each other, including aerial bombardments. And all parties must remain committed over a period of time to make possible a political end to this conflict.”

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