Fate of Syria Ceasefire Agreement Depends on US: Russian FM Lavrov

Fate of Syria Ceasefire Agreement Depends on US: Russian FM Lavrov
Wed Feb 17, 2016 20:58:27

Russian Foreign Minister says the implementation of an international agreement on the cessation of hostilities in Syria, which was recently reached in the German city of Munich, hinges on the United States.

“Everything depends on the Americans, on whether they will be ready to cooperate on a military level,” Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Wednesday.

On February 12, world powers agreed to seek a nationwide ceasefire in Syria beginning in a week's time after the International Syria Support Group (ISSG) meeting in Munich. They also decided to accelerate and expand humanitarian aid deliveries to the crisis-hit Arab country.

According to the ISSG statement, the truce in Syria does not include areas held by groups designated as terrorist organizations by the United Nations Security Council, including Daesh (ISIS/ISIL) and al-Qaeda-linked al-Nusra Front.

The deal came as Washington along with some of its allies has been conducting airstrikes against the alleged Daesh elements since September 2014 without any authorization from Damascus or a UN mandate.

On the contrary, Russia launched its own anti-terror campaign in Syria last September upon a request from the Damascus government. The airstrikes have expedited the advances of Syrian forces against militants.

Elsewhere, asked about a latest proposal by German Chancellor Angela Merkel for the establishment of a no-fly zone over Syria, the top Russian diplomat said the plan does not belong to Berlin but rather to Ankara.

"This is not Merkel's initiative, this is a Turkish initiative,” he said.

The Turkish government has long been pushing for a buffer zone or no-fly zone inside Syria that covers the anti-Damascus militants’ most-heavily-depended-on supply route.

The foreign-sponsored conflict in Syria, which flared in March 2011, has claimed the lives of some 470,000 people and left 1.9 million injured, according to the Syrian Center for Policy Research.

The Syrian army, backed by Russian air cover, has made significant gains against Takfiri militants on several fronts, particularly in the strategic northern province of Aleppo, Press TV reported.

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