Syria: In Crucial Move Toward Peace, Cease-Fire Goes Into Effect

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On Saturday morning, a cease-fire agreement went into effect in war-torn Syria, in the first step toward a resolution to the five-year civil war.

The cease-fire, which was brokered between the United States, Russia, and many of the factions in Syria, went into effect at midnight, Damascus time. The agreement temporarily halts the violence between Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and rebel groups attempting to overthrow his repressive regime that has left more than 250,000 dead and displaced 11 million people.

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The war in Syria has also created the opportunity for the fundamentalist rhetoric of the Islamic State to take hold, helping it expand throughout the country and into Iraq and other neighboring countries.

With the cease-fire Russia has halted all airstrikes in the country for the day in order to help maintain the fragile peace — it plans to continue strikes against such fundamentalist groups as the Islamic State in the future.

After the “cessation of hostilities” was unanimously agreed upon by the UN Security Counsil, UN Syrian envoy Staffan de Mistura said, “Let us pray that this works… Because, frankly, this is the best opportunity we can imagine that the Syrian people have had over the last five years . . . to see . . . something related to peace.”

As co-chairs of the task force designed to monitor the agreement, the U.S. and Russia have founded operation centers to help investigate incidences of violation. According to the Washington Post, a hotline between the two countries has been established.

“It is, potentially, a historic junction — to bring an end to the killing and destruction and to start a new life and new hope for the Syrians,” Mistura said.

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According to CNN, another UN meeting will take place on Saturday to determine if the aspects of the cease-fire are being respected.

In a statement UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said, “The full implementation of this resolution – including unimpeded and sustainable humanitarian deliveries – is our best chance to reduce the brutal violence in Syria. What matters now are not the words of the resolution, but whether it will make real changes on the ground and reduce the suffering of the Syrian people and create space and the credibility for the UN Special Envoy for Syria to relaunch political negotiation over transition in accordance with the Geneva Communique and resolution 2254.”

While many fundamentalist groups have abstained from signing the cease-fire the agreement is an instrumental move toward sustained and lasting peace in Syria.

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About the author: Gary Joshua Garrison

 

Gary Joshua Garrison is the Prose Editor for Hayden’s Ferry Review. His fiction has appeared in various locations around the World Wide Web, as well as in bound reams of paper. His nonfictional musing can be found at Luminary Daily and Way Too Indie. He writes, teaches, and goes to the movies in the desert of Arizona with his well-postured cat, Widget.

Website: http://garyjgarrison.com/

 

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