Syria drifts back towards war; The Syrian peace agreement seems to be collapsing due to a sudden increase in violence on both sides
The fragile peace or ‘cessation of hostilities’ as they call it, was enacted in Syria on 27 February 2016. It was the first practical ceasefire that was unexpectedly very effective.
Fighting abated in most of the areas and the country experience some peace after years of exhaustive fighting. The peace agreement was fragile from the very beginning and sporadic fighting was seen in many parts of the country but the all the parties mainly stuck to the agreement until recently when the level of violence suddenly increased around Aleppo giving way to a new crisis that may be about to begin.
Since the beginning of the month, the regime has started carrying out aerial bombing attacks on the southern parts of Aleppo. There bearable to an extent since the main faction in the area was Al Nusra which is not part of the agreement.
However, recently some of the regime aircrafts have also targeted civilians in the area. On the other side of the spectrum, opposition forces have also stepped up their activities.
They also announce that they will be carrying out a new offensive in order to counter the latest government assault. In fact, Syria drifting back towards war rebels have also begun attacking the Latakia province which is the hometown of Bashar Al Assad, and his Alawite powerbase.
On the negotiating table in Geneva, things are even bleaker. The High Negotiations Committee (HNC) representing the opposition announced that it was leaving the talks owing to increasing regime violence.
They also said that the peace proposals in under discussion in Geneva were not acceptable to them. One of the most bizarre ideas was to appoint three opposition vice presidents under Assad who will practically have no power at all.
Americans and Russians are trying to put pressure onto the opposition and the regime to abide by the ceasefire. The problem is that the administration in America will change in a few months which will not be a good thing for the peace agreement since it depends, to a great extent on the special relationship between John Kerry and Sergei Lavrov.
NO doubt, Syria drifting back towards war, the time is tough for the rebels since they are grounded by the regime on one side and the Islamic State on the other. Like Nusra, the IS is also not part of the deal.
The real losers, in case the peace agreement collapses, will be the people of Syria especially the ones who are trapped between the Turkish border and Aleppo.