Syria temporary truce nears, but fighting continues – CNN

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The two-week truce does not apply to “terrorist organizations designated by the U.N. Security Council,” including ISIS and al-Nusra. Military operations against them are expected to continue.

This is an important detail because there are more than 160 armed factions on the battlefield.

Syria’s cessation of hostilities, explained

The agreement

The agreement calls for the Syrian regime and the opposition fighters to halt attacks and implement a U.N. “road map” for peace.

Under the terms, Russia, whose warplanes have targeted non-ISIS and non-al Qaeda Syrian opposition groups, will halt those airstrikes.

Both sides agree to allow humanitarian agencies access to the territories they hold, and to refrain from taking territory held by the other side.

The “road map” is U.N. Security Council Resolution 2254, which the council adopted unanimously in December.

As Friday’s deadline approached, regime and Russian airstrikes continued to pound different parts of the country.

Obama expresses little optimism for Syrian ceasefire

On Friday, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that the truce would be a difficult and “contradictive” process.

“But there’s no alternative to a peaceful settlement of the conflict,” Putin told a meeting of members of the Russian federal security service, the FSB. “All conditions have to be created for the soonest end of the bloodshed and for an inter-Syrian political dialogue in the future with participation of all constructive political forces.”

Civil war has raged over Syria for five years, ever since protests during the hopeful days of the Arab Spring were brutally repressed.

More than a quarter of a million people have died so far. Half the country’s population has been uprooted and has fled. People in some Syrian cities are starving. More than a million people entered Europe without the required papers last year — most of them, by far, Syrians. The European Union’s commitment to the free, borderless movement of people is in danger of collapse.

Syria temporary truce nears, but fighting continues – CNN