The recent cessation of hostilities brokered by Russia and the U.S., agreed to by many in the opposition to Assad and the Assad government, is mainly holding, even though both sides complain of violations.
|Riad Hijab, the general coordinator for the opposition, has written a letter to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in which he details alleged breaches of the truth, saying in part:|
"Right from the onset of the truce, a large number of violations have been committed by the regime and its allies in several parts of Syria. The regime has continued to target populated areas using helicopter raids to using explosive barrels, resulting in a large number of fatalities and causing significant injuries, most of whom were innocent women and children."Hijab claimed that breaches of the agreement have happened in 26 different areas.
"That would be a major booster in confidence-building and trust. Let's not forget, 5 years of horror. 300,000 people killed. 1 million wounded. There is total distrust from the sides. And the first gesture of believing in each other, or at least believing that there is a nonmilitary solution, is the reduction of violence."The truce is aimed at creating the conditions for peace talks among the warring groups. The talks are slated to begin on March 7. However, jihadist groups such as the Islamic State and the Al-Qaeda-linked Nusra Front are not part of the negotiations. In the case of the Nusra Front many of the rebels are concerned attacks still continue on them as they have been key fighters against the Assad regime. Both the U.S. and Russia oppose the two jihadist groups. This certainly helped the two agree on excluding the Nusra Front over the objections of many rebels..