In Munich last Thursday, US Secretary of State John Kerry announced an “ambitious” goal of securing a cessation of hostilities in Syria’s civil war “in one week’s time.”
One week later, the belligerents have met only once to begin ironing out what such a cease-fire would look like, how it could be enforced, and who, precisely, would have to cease firing at whom.
But on a humanitarian front, the UN on Wednesday praised the Assad regime’s willingness to finally allow humanitarian aid to besieged areas – another goal of the Munich talks.
While Russia, which began an aggressive military intervention last year on behalf of embattled Syrian President Bashar Assad, tentatively agreed to the cease-fire in principle, the joint US-Russia announcement offered no details as to which groups fighting Assad count as terrorist organizations, and are thus fair game for targeting during the proposed pause in the fighting.
The regime in Damascus, and its allies in Moscow and Tehran, classify all enemies of Assad as terrorists of the state.