Air strikes hit six towns in Syria’s Aleppo day after truce, monitor

Reuters reports: War planes attacked six towns in Syria’s northern Aleppo province early on Sunday, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said, a day after a cessation of hostilities agreement took effect.

Syrian insurgents said the air strikes were carried out by Russian war planes in support of Syria’s government, but the Observatory which monitors the conflict said the identity of the jets was not clear.

“We do not know which planes carried out the strikes and also we are not sure if this is considered a breach to the truce because it is not clear if these towns are included in the truce,” the Observatory’s director Rami Abdulrahman said.

Syria’s state media did not mention the strikes. Russia’s defense ministry declined to comment. [Continue reading…]

Huffington Post asked Joshua Landis: Could this limited ceasefire be a first step towards a future peace deal?

I doubt it. Russia and Syria are committed to reconquering all of Syria. So far Putin doesn’t seem to show any signs of losing interest in Syria or getting stuck in a quagmire.

I think this momentary pause is first and foremost to demonstrate that America is doing something. There’s tremendous pressure on the United States. This is both for humanitarian reasons — as Russia bombs hospitals and a tide of humanity pushes up against the Turkish border — and because [President Barack] Obama needs to do something to smooth the feathers of our traditional allies, like Turkey and Saudi Arabia, who are apoplectic and accuse the U.S. of abandoning them.

I think Obama told the Russians: Give us a ceasefire, even if it’s a limited one for short duration, because I’ve got to take something home. And this is what the Russians have come up with. But obviously Assad is very interested in pressing his advantage right now — he has the rebels on the run. The Syrian regime’s objective is to shut off the rebels’ supply chain to the Turkish border, and the more truces they sign, the longer they have to linger and wait. [Continue reading…]

Track ceasefire violations at Syria Ceasefire Monitor.

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