Syria announces truce backed by Russia and Turkey. Hezbollah fighters to leave Syria


Foreign ministers, Sergei Lavrov (C) of Russia, Mevlut Cavusoglu (R) of Turkey and Mohammad Javad Zarif of Iran, prepare for a news conference in Moscow, December 20th 2016. The 3 will reportedly decide the fate of Syria
Foreign ministers, Sergei Lavrov (C) of Russia, Mevlut Cavusoglu (R) of Turkey and Mohammad Javad Zarif of Iran, prepare for a news conference in Moscow, December 20th 2016. The 3 will reportedly decide the fate of Syria
The Syrian government and its most important ally, Russia, announced on Thursday that they had reached a cease-fire agreement with Syrian rebels and with Turkey — a potential turning point in a civil war that has lasted nearly six years and claimed hundreds of thousands of lives.

The announcement follows the retaking of all of Aleppo, once Syria’s industrial capital and a stronghold of the opposition, by forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad, and negotiations in Moscow that involved Mr. Assad’s government, Russia, Iran and Turkey — but, pointedly, not the United States.

Not included in the agreement is the Islamic State, which controls territory in eastern Syria and across the border with Iraq; the Syrian affiliate of Al Qaeda, which is strongest in the country’s northwest; and “groups linked to them.”

It was not clear which of the scores of rebel groups scattered across Syria had agreed to the cease-fire, nor whether those that had not been consulted would abide by it. Throughout the war, rebel forces have failed to form a united leadership, and infighting among groups has been common.

It was also unclear what criteria the Syrian military and its Russian allies would use to define groups “linked” to the jihadists. In the past, they have dismissed much of the armed opposition as “terrorists” who could not be distinguished from jihadist groups.

Russia, Mr. Assad’s backer, and Turkey, which supports some of the rebels, will guarantee the truce, to begin at midnight on Thursday, President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia said. Minutes later, the Syrian military said it would halt operations nationwide starting at midnight.

The two sides actually signed three agreements, Mr. Putin said: the cease-fire itself; an agreement detailing how it would be carried out; and a third expressing readiness to begin peace talks for a settlement to the conflict.

Mr. Putin said that Mr. Assad’s government and the opposition would take part in peace talks in Kazakhstan, but he did not announce a date.

The Russian defense minister, Sergei K. Shoigu, said the truce would include 62,000 opposition fighters across Syria, and that the Russian military had set up a hotline with its Turkish counterpart to allow immediate communication about the truce and whether it was being met.

In a brief statement, the Syrian Army said the cease-fire came “after the victories and successes that our armed forces accomplished in more than one place,” an allusion to the recent retaking of Aleppo by government forces and allied militias.

The cease-fire agreement appeared to reflect the changed geopolitical reality since Donald J. Trump’s election as president of the United States. Mr. Trump has called President Obama’s Syria policies a failure and has backed the removal of remaining support for Syrian rebels, vowing to make fighting terrorism virtually the entirety of his administration’s Syria policy.

Mr. Assad has called Mr. Trump “a natural ally” in that fight, and the Russian foreign minister, Sergey V. Lavrov, said on Thursday that Mr. Trump’s administration would be welcome to join the peace process after he starts on Jan. 20.

“I would hope that, after the Donald Trump administration takes office, it will also be able to join these efforts,” Mr. Lavrov said at the meeting, shown on state-run television.

In Turkey, the government said that the Lebanese militia Hezbollah — which is backed by Iran and has sent thousands of fighters to battle Mr. Assad’s forces — should withdraw from Syria.

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

The foreign minister, Mevlut Cavusoglu, told the Turkish news channel A Haber on Thursday that Turkey would guarantee rebel compliance with the cease-fire agreement, while Russia would guarantee adherence by Mr. Assad’s government. Iran would also help monitor compliance by Mr. Assad’s government and by allied Shiite militias, including Hezbollah, he said.

Demands that troops from Lebanese Shi’ite Hezbollah leave Syria may not sit well with Iran, another major supporter of Assad. Hezbollah troops have been fighting alongside Syrian government forces against rebels opposed to Assad.




16 responses to “Syria announces truce backed by Russia and Turkey. Hezbollah fighters to leave Syria”

  1. Stoney Huff Avatar
    Stoney Huff

    Just 9,000 Hezbollah terrorists still in Syria. They suffered heavy losses – volunteers taking on the heroic Opposition such as the FSA = former Syrian Army trained professionals not about to commit war crimes under Assad.

    1. Hezbollah wiped the floor with fsa lol early morning after breakfast

      1. Assad/Hezb/Iran, was in heavy defeat with lots of martyrs, until Russian Air-force stepped in later in the war. The Party of Iran, Lebanese and Afghan units proved ineffective without the Russians overhead. FSA didn’t have an Air-force.

        1. lol air force don’t winwars we see that back in 2006 HEZBOLLAH DOESSS

          1. MekensehParty Avatar

            You tell him Ali.
            Also remind him that you’re ready for another 2006
            2017 can’t be divine without another divine victory.
            Yalla, fight! Fight! Fight!

          2. who asked you ente shoo dakhalak

          3. HebAlba Avatar

            It’s the man’s hobby.

          4. mekenseh party ? lol that’s must be douri chammoun

          5. HebAlba Avatar

            “The Phalangist party is a Lebanese political party and militia that is not only responsible for numerous atrocities during the 15-year civil war, but was and still is a fascist party modelled on Hitler’s Nazi party.”——————

            Pierre Gemayel went for his college studies in French to Palestine in 1920 at Collège Saint Joseph in Haifa, my great-grand father and him where in same class.
            I know he went to Berlin Olympics in 1937 and was so impressed by the Fascist Nazi Party that he formed the Kataeb, (Phalange).
            You’re a fascist must have served the Zionists during invasion of Lebanon.. i read a lot about, must have killed Palestinians ..Tall Zaatar or Sabra Shatila… why you insist
            living in the past ugly dinosaur?

            “In the 1958 Civil War, the Phalangists supported president Camille Chamoun.
            1968: The Phalange party cooperates with the parties of Chamoun and Raymond Edde, and gets 9 of the 99 seats in the parliament.
            1976: The Phalangists support Syrian intervention in the conflict, as they were losing ground to the Muslim troops.
            1980: The Phalange destroys the militia of the National Liberal Party of Chamoun, which was another member of the Lebanese Front.
            1982: The Phalangists cooperates with Israel, in planning an attack on Lebanon.
            June 6: Israel invades Lebanon from its southern border, and its forces start advancing north, reaching Beirut in short time.
            September 16: As a way of retaliating the killing of Gemayel, the Phalange militia gets help from the Israeli army to close off the Palestinian quarters of Sabra and Chatila…”
            (Note; all men had gone to Tunisia only women children and elderlies were left under the protection of US soldiers,
            it was a signed condition between Palestinians and the Secretary of State, Begin called US President and argued that Israeli soldiers can replace them.)
            “Then a campaign of killing 2,000 Palestinian civilians over the next 3 days. This stands as one of the most dramatic moments from the 16 year long civil war.”
            List of Fascist mouvements

        2. fsa my ass too small

      2. Pity the nation divided into fragments, each fragment deeming itself a nation.

        Gibran Khalil Gibran

  2. Sayyed Ibrahim Amin al-Sayyed, the head of Hezbollah’s political council said the party’s military wing would remain active in the Syrian theater until the end of the conflict. “We will remain in Syria until we completely triumph over the terrorist project,” said Sayyed following a meeting with Maronite Patriarch Beshara Rai in Bkirki, east of Beirut.

    “We will not withdraw just because Turkey and the U.S. asked to do so,” he added stressing that the group would only leave when they “see that it is suitable to withdraw.”
    This your answer from the big boys.
    HA have a law only for them.

    1. MekensehParty Avatar

      They already made it clear that they won’t stop fighting before liberating falastine. Happy that they’re not quitting now…

      1. I think they know not what a GPS is… Palestine is much further south of Aleppo 😉

      2. master09 Avatar

        They don’t even know the direction to that place.

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