U.S., Russia agree to extend truce to Aleppo

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People walk on the rubble of damaged buildings after an airstrike in the rebel held area of Aleppo's Baedeen district, Syria, May 3, 2016. REUTERS/Abdalrhman Ismail
People walk on the rubble of damaged buildings after an airstrike in the rebel held area of Aleppo’s Baedeen district, Syria, May 3, 2016. REUTERS/Abdalrhman Ismail

The United States said on Wednesday it had agreed with Russia to extend a cessation of hostilities agreement to include Aleppo where intense day-long violence between Syrian rebels and government forces killed dozens of people.

The State Department said the truce went into effect at 12:01 a.m. Damascus time on Wednesday, but acknowledged the fighting had not stopped.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said he was not surprised that fighting continued in some areas, adding both sides were working to communicate with commanders in the field.

Kerry, meeting with EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini at the State Department, said it was vital that both sides abide by the agreement. He called on Russia to use its influence over President Bashar al-Assad to stop the violence.

There was no immediate response from Moscow to the announcement of an agreement, but the Syrian army said it would implement a “regime of calm” in Aleppo for 48 hours as of Thursday.

The surge in bloodshed in Aleppo, Syria’s largest city before the civil war and biggest strategic prize, wrecked the first major “cessation of hostilities” agreement of the war, sponsored by Washington and Moscow, which had held since February.

In battles on Wednesday between rebels and government forces in western Aleppo, opposition forces said they were forced to retreat by heavy aerial bombing.

Russia’s U.N. ambassador, Vitaly Churkin, addressing a U.N. Security Council meeting on the situation in Aleppo, said an agreement would have been announced on Tuesday but opposition attacks in Aleppo had prevented it from happening.

“The deterioration in certain areas of Syria, including Aleppo, is a serious source of concern. The government forces are fighting off a large-scale offensive by the jihadists (in Aleppo),” he told the council.

STRENGTHENED MONITORING

Kerry said the United States was coordinating closely with Russia to finalize strengthened monitoring of the extension of the cessation of hostilities to Aleppo.

He said he expected a meeting of the International Syrian Support Group, a grouping of foreign ministers of European and Middle Eastern government chaired by Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, to meet within the next two weeks.

In Berlin, the German and French foreign ministers said achieving a ceasefire in Aleppo was critical to renewing peace talks.

“I believe everyone knows and can conclude that there could be no return to the political talks in Geneva if a ceasefire in and around Aleppo is not observed,” German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier told reporters.

In Geneva, a senior U.N. humanitarian official said the Syrian government was refusing U.N. demands to deliver aid to hundreds of thousands of civilians trapped by the fighting, including many in devastated Aleppo.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said dozens had been killed on both sides in what it described as the most intense battle in the Aleppo region in a year. Government forces were reinforced by allies from Lebanon’s Hezbollah, it said.

A rebel fighter said about 40 government soldiers had been killed, while rebel losses stood at 10 dead. A military source denied there had been heavy casualties in army ranks, but said dozens of civilians and many rebels had been killed.

Rebel sources said insurgents at one point captured a strategic location known as Family House, but later lost it after the government side sent in reinforcements.

A pro-government military strategist said the offensive failed to breach key army defense and supply lines in Aleppo.

During the Security Council meeting, U.N. political chief Jeffrey Feltman said a consolidated truce and greater humanitarian aid access were needed to ensure the next round of Syria peace talks – set for this month – were credible. Without progress, he said there was a “real risk of a failed political process.”

“The current levels of violence in Aleppo, in particular, negatively impact the ability of the Syrian parties to engage in negotiations,” Feltman said.

U.N. aid chief Stephen O’Brien told the 15-member council that life for the people in Aleppo was horrendous and they were “living under daily threat and terror.”

 

REUTERS

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50 responses to “U.S., Russia agree to extend truce to Aleppo”

  1. 5thDrawer Avatar
    5thDrawer

    ‘It’s a Truce.’ (bang) Alaoha Akbar …. ‘It’s a Truce.’ (boom) Alaoha Akbar …. ‘It’s a Truce.’ (ratatatat) Alaoha Akbar …. ‘Yallah Ali Baba, what is Truce meaning in Arabic?’ …

    1. I wonder what the Assadites’ rallying cry might be? Because “My life for you, o Bashar” is kinda too long, not to mention embarrassingly stupid….

      1. Hind Abyad Avatar
        Hind Abyad

        It means; I will die for Syria…as you would say for Israhell

        1. Let’s hope they live up to their slogan (but not for too long, mind it) and actually do it! 🙂

          1. Hind Abyad Avatar
            Hind Abyad

            We know, the Zionist project supports the Jewish settlement movement.. a policy of excluding Palestinians from Palestine leading to the eventual annexation of both the West Bank and Gaza to the State of Israel.

            “Greater Israel would create a number of proxy States. It would include parts of Lebanon, Jordan, Syria, the Sinai, as well as parts of Iraq and Saudi Arabia.
            According to Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya in 2011. The Yinon Plan was a continuation of Britain’s colonial design in the Middle East”

            “The Yinon plan is an Israeli strategic plan to ensure Israeli regional superiority. It insists and stipulates that Israel must reconfigure its geo-political environment through the balkanisation of the surrounding Arab states into smaller and weaker states.

            Israeli strategists viewed Iraq as their biggest strategic challenge from an Arab state. This is why Iraq was outlined as the centrepiece to the balkanisation of the Middle East and the Arab World. In Iraq, on the basis of the concepts of the Yinon Plan, Israeli strategists have called for the division of Iraq into a Kurdish state and two Arab states, one for Shiite Muslims and the other for Sunni Muslims. The first step towards establishing this was a war between Iraq and Iran, which the Yinon Plan discusses.”.. Happening as we speak

            Zionists want Syria the Golan Height and Lebanon.

          2. Rudy1947 Avatar
            Rudy1947

            Do you check under your bed and in your closet before retiring for the evening?

          3. Hind Abyad Avatar
            Hind Abyad

            Your brain and closet are transparent.

          4. Rudy1947 Avatar
            Rudy1947

            Doesn’t answer the question. Besides, you seem to jump every conspiracy theory small and large. Like the Protocols, the Yinon Plan is fake, a fabrication and a total conspiracy theory. Just your kind of meat.

          5. Hind Abyad Avatar
            Hind Abyad

            Of course, little birdy hashbarra !

          6. Rudy1947 Avatar
            Rudy1947

            Glad you agree.

          7. Hind Abyad Avatar
            Hind Abyad

            La barra

          8. Rudy1947 Avatar
            Rudy1947

            Brilliant……not

          9. Hind Abyad Avatar
            Hind Abyad

            Arabic for Fuera,

          10. Rudy1947 Avatar
            Rudy1947

            English for sarcasm.

        2. Rudy1947 Avatar
          Rudy1947

          You don’t win wars by dying for your country, you win by making the SOB die for his.

          1. Hind Abyad Avatar
            Hind Abyad

            I translated..Rudzinsky SOB

          2. Rudy1947 Avatar
            Rudy1947

            Doesn’t matter whether or not you translated or not.

          3. Hind Abyad Avatar
            Hind Abyad

            So shut up.

          4. Rudy1947 Avatar
            Rudy1947

            No.

          5. Hind Abyad Avatar
            Hind Abyad

            Stop spamming stupidities, i got 14 messages from you.. imbecile

          6. Rudy1947 Avatar
            Rudy1947

            Here’s 15. No.

    2. Hind Abyad Avatar
      Hind Abyad

      Syrian don’t chant Alaho Akbar. If you hear Allahuakbar run for your life..

      1. 5thDrawer Avatar
        5thDrawer

        I’ve heard a variety of pronunciations of that from the guy who runs around getting videos for YouTube popularity in his ‘weapons-proofs’ results. Especially their home-made creations. ;-)))
        ‘Aloha’ in Hawaiian means both ‘Hello’ and ‘Goodbye’. 😉

    1. Rudy1947 Avatar
      Rudy1947

      Don’;t fire mortars at Israel and you won’t get tank shells in return. It’s obvious that a concept that simple can’t be followed by the PaliArabs in Gaza.

      1. Hind Abyad Avatar
        Hind Abyad

        As classicist and philosopher Paul Woodruff says, “the tyranny of the majority kills freedom as dead as any other form of tyranny. It’s not freedom if you have to join the majority in order to feel that you are free.”

        1. Rudy1947 Avatar
          Rudy1947

          Charming. Did Mr. Woodruff ever fire mortars at someone or did tunnels into his neighbors yard?

          1. Rudy1947 Avatar
            Rudy1947

            zzzzzzzzzzz. Cartoons and videos. A waste of time Hind. I watch a four part video of a former Iranian soldier converting to Christianity….boring. Also, what does the video have to do with Hamas firing mortars?

          2. Hind Abyad Avatar
            Hind Abyad

            It has to do with Zionists conspiracies (with documents), to give Palestine..
            You won’t change that. Boring stupid bird brain

          3. Rudy1947 Avatar
            Rudy1947

            Zionist conspiracies or Arab conspiracies? Again, what does it have to do with Hamas firing mortars and digging tunnels?

          4. Hind Abyad Avatar
            Hind Abyad

            Ask your thatha therapist

          5. Rudy1947 Avatar
            Rudy1947

            I’m asking you. Not that I expect anything more than gibberish and cartoons.

          6. Hind Abyad Avatar
            Hind Abyad

            You’re an eloquent cartoon.. bye bye birdie

          7. Rudy1947 Avatar
            Rudy1947

            Predictable response. Do you keep that in a library?

          8. 5thDrawer Avatar
            5thDrawer

            It was useful to impoverish England, before getting into the war. Canadians, all wishing to help England, recognized this – even the ones rescued from U-boat sinkings who went on the next ship. Charlie Chaplin was driven out because he recognized ‘Naziism of Hitler’ for what it was – a desire to own a world comprised of white blond super-humans.
            A history NOT taught is a history unknown.

          9. Rudy1947 Avatar
            Rudy1947

            1. The German plan was to starve England, not impoverish it.
            2. Kudos to the Canadians.
            3. Charlie wasn’t the only one who recognized dear Adolf and left.
            4. Cute.
            5. Many americans understand the difference, just find both not to their liking.
            6. Stalin was a competitor, not a buddy.
            7. Why?

          10. 5thDrawer Avatar
            5thDrawer

            On ‘American-think’, I can only refer to one of my best English teachers, who was also a published writer of books on Wood-work and cabinetry. He was teaching English in California, and ‘dared’ to divide a class for a ‘debating’ lesson. One side tasked to promote Democracy, and the other to do the same for Communism.
            A ‘fearful’ set of parents hearing naturally what their children were working on for homework, raised a hue and cry – although NOT about learning an English Skill. The man was ‘FIRED’ for what they ‘thought’ was a promotion of any ‘Un-American’ Communist thought, and subsequently driven out of the USA, to be ‘allowed’ to find the job of teaching again the thing he was very good at.
            Because of him and another ‘honest’ teacher, I had great marks in my best ‘subject’ of that time … and which were hugely better than the ones I received in Latin. 😉 Thank you.

            That’s why I wrote ‘buddy’, not buddy, although they sure worked together for a while.

            If you are asking why archives are useful, contemplate the lack of same from the unknown large and technically competent societies of humans who existed in places on the earth working with ‘stones’, before the Egyptians and their dynasties arrived, at some point of human population rebuilding, after a large ‘planetary event’ (believed now to be one huge sulpherous volcano spreading death on the winds) caused their annihilations. No archives lead to simple speculations.

          11. Hind Abyad Avatar
            Hind Abyad

            Lazy brain no brain.

          12. Hind Abyad Avatar
            Hind Abyad

            Chaplin came in WW2, he was good.:)

          13. Campus Maximus Avatar
            Campus Maximus

            Why are Conservatives like you so racist, so evil? :*(

        2. 5thDrawer Avatar
          5thDrawer

          The first thing to attain is the Freedom Of Speech, to be able to write a philosophy.
          The second thing is to realize there must be rules in a ‘majority society’ to attain peace and comfort within it.
          Anarchists want all freedom to do as they wish in any moment of life – which will likely only lead to their lack of any freedom, or sense of inner freedom, in a society with rules, even when it has freedom of speech.
          If one can’t wait for a humanly positive philosophy to exist in the majority, when freely expressed and given, it is only a problem in the life-span of the philosopher, who has recognized that the majority are in shit with more redundant philosophies. 😉
          The ‘majority’ rarely think about any philosophy beyond the one of a full stomach, and the comfort found therin.

          1. Hind Abyad Avatar
            Hind Abyad

            When you have time, Arabs lack this kind of sophistication’..
            Going out 🙂
            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lu6TlmHnd4c

  2. Rudy1947 Avatar
    Rudy1947

    The other side to a cessation of hostilities is to regroup, rearm and redeploy. Any real cessation will come when one, two, three sides have expended their arms or see the futility of going further.

    1. 5thDrawer Avatar
      5thDrawer

      Laying down all ‘arms’ (all ‘sides’) doesn’t seem to be the ‘populist’ concept.

      1. Rudy1947 Avatar
        Rudy1947

        Yeah, that is definitely correct.

    2. Campus Maximus Avatar
      Campus Maximus

      Wow Rudy. You’re actually saying krap that makes sense. lulz

  3. Hind Abyad Avatar
    Hind Abyad

    White House: no excuse for airstrike on Syria refugee camp
    http://ln.is/www.dailystar.com.lb/Xl09K … via @dailystarleb

  4. Campus Maximus Avatar
    Campus Maximus

    Why are Republicans so evil? :*(

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