The Guardian reports: A “provisional agreement” on a ceasefire in Syria has been reached between the US and Russia, the US secretary of state, John Kerry, said on Sunday, but serious doubts remain on whether it will come into force as the country reeled from a series of deadly car bombs in Syria’s two biggest cities that left more than 120 dead.
In Homs, twin car bombs killed at least 57 people and wounded 100 on Sunday, and explosions hit parts of the capital, Damascus, killing a further 62 and wounding 180, according to the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. The attacks on both cities were claimed by Islamic State.
Kerry said he had reached an agreement following phone talks with his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, amid signs that Russia is putting some pressure on the Syrian president, Bashar al-Assad, to comply. There are serious doubts over the strength of the deal, which would need the agreement of Vladimir Putin and Barack Obama, who are expected to speak by phone later this week.
A previous UN-brokered ceasefire, agreed between the interested parties in Munich a fortnight ago, failed to come into force on Friday as expected, with Russia continuing its bombing campaign and the Syrian army moving to encircle Syria’s second city of Homs. [Continue reading…]