Syrian Army And Allied Russians Target Rebel Positions Ahead of Ceasefire

Rebels are suspicious that the regime will continue to attack them despite the peace deal.

Syrian Army And Allied Russians Target Rebel Positions Ahead of Ceasefire

Russian jets continued to pound rebel positions in the Northwestern parts of Syria while Assad troops targeted a suburb of Damascus on Thursday. These latest strikes by Syrian army and its allies against rebel held areas came in the wake of a planned lull in fighting. Rebels had already said that Russia will not abide by any ceasefire agreements.

The ‘cessation of hostilities’ has been agreed by America and Russia. It is due to become effective on midnight Saturday. However, despite Russia’s involvement in agreement, opponents of Assad rule say that the regime will ignore it, and continue advancing towards rebel held areas under the pretext of fighting al-Qaeda affiliated fighters who are not part of the truce.

Bashar al Assad and the main alliance of the opposition have both agreed to the ceasefire agreement. Assad has committed to the deal for only two weeks citing reservations. However, the deal will only apply to moderate rebels. The Syrian army and its allies will be free to target the fighters belonging to groups linked with al Qaeda and the Islamic State.

The regime has also stated that the agreement will be deemed void if the truce is used by foreign backers of the rebels to supply them with weapons.

The president of the United Stated said that America was resolved to make the deal successful but there were many reasons to be sceptic. The president said that Russian and the Syrian regime must honor their commitments and that the world will be watching them during the next few days.

Obama also said that a ceasefire will allow all the concerned parties to focus on fighting the Islamic state.

Right now, the fighting is focused in the besieged town of Draya near the capital, Damascus. It is under rebel control at the moment but the regime is describing them as al Nusra fighters and thus, exempted from the deal.

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Bill Schroder

Bill Schroder is a Beirut-based correspondent for The World Beast. He has reported from over a dozen countries in the Middle East for such publications. Follow: Tweets by @SchroderBill