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Ceasefire announced by US and Russia due to begin

February 27, 2016 - SYRIA

The date Moscow proposes a ceasefire in Syria begins. World powers have repeatedly urged Moscow to end its bombardments in support of President Bashar al-Assad's massive new government offensive.

They agreed on Feb 12 that a truce would come into effect within a week, but the deadline came and went with continuing fighting and skepticism remains over the new plan.

According to the joint US-Russian statement, the truce will "be applied to [all] those parties to the Syrian conflict that have indicated their commitment" to accept its terms. It will exclude Islamic State, Al Nusra Front and "other terrorist organizations designated by the UN Security Council."

The deal also sets up a communications hotline and calls for a working group to monitor ceasefire violations, according to the BBC. The broadcaster notes that after six months of intensive and concentrated Russian air strikes on pro-US rebels, government forces backed by Iranian and Hezbollah fighters, government forces have gained the upper hand and achieved significant gains in areas of Damascus and Aleppo.

US-Russia brokered truce to start at weekend (BBC 22 Feb 2016)

Ceasefire in Syria to commence at midnight on Feb. 27 (RT 22 Feb 2016)

Date written/update: 2016-02-23