By Baran Hines
Syrian government officials have declared the military will no longer observe the ceasefire agreed to by the United States and Russia one week ago. The goal of the agreed ceasefire was to end the fighting in the Syrian proxy war, eliminate terrorist groups in Syria and then negotiate a political agreement for reforms. Monday marked the end of a 7 day period which was supposed have reduced violence before the peace process could move to the next step of the US and Russia targeting Islamic State and Al Nusra terrorists.
The decision comes after the United States admitted to bombing Syrian military forces who were fighting the Islamic State on Saturday. At least 80 soldiers were killed and more than 100 wounded in airstrikes which US officials called an accident, while claiming to target Islamic State fighters. A humanitarian aid convoy was also bombed on Monday in airstrikes near Aleppo, which US officials blamed on the Syrian military.
The Syrian government explained the decision to ignore the ceasefire in a statement published by state news media SANA. Syrian Army officials claim that “armed terrorist groups took advantage of the declared ceasefire” to regroup and continued attacks on residential areas and military targets, specifically in the strategic city of Aleppo.
“It was assumed that the ceasefire will present a real chance to end the bloodshed, but terrorist groups did not adhere to any of the points of the agreement on a ceasefire, the number of violations on their part has exceeded 300,” according to translation of the announcement.
Russian military officials defended the statements by the Syrian military, calling the ceasefire a one-sided agreement because the opposition continued to engage in terrorist attacks.
“As the terms of the ceasefire are not respected by militants, we consider observing it unilaterally by the Syrian government forces would be senseless,” Lieutenant-General Sergey Rudskoy told reporters at a press briefing.
The end of the ceasefire agreement also marks another significant problem with the peace efforts in Syria after Russian officials publicly accused the United States of helping Islamic State.
“If previously we had suspicions that Al-Nusra Front is protected this way, now, after today’s airstrikes on the Syrian army we come to a really terrifying conclusion for the entire world: The White House is defending IS [Islamic State],” Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told reporters.
Baran Hines is a contributor to ActivistPost.com. He is the founder of WTFRLY.com, where you can read more of his work. This article may be reposted in part or in full with author attribution and source link.