After months of negotiating, the newest and most hopeful ceasefire agreement appears to be bringing much needed relief to some of the most battered cities and people in Syria. But - and it's a big but – three days into the ceasefire agreement negotiated by the U.S. and Russia, the U.S. and Russia are trading accusations of ceasefire violations by their respective proxies. The U.S. for its part is trying to down play violations on both sides because there is a lot at stake in this painfully and meticulously negotiated cooperation agreement. The U.S. has to deliver an opposition force free of terrorist elements, and Russia has to stop the Assad regime from conducting airstrikes over opposition held areas. And neither has an easy job: Russia's commitment to reigning in Assad was met with a provocative statement by the Syrian ruler exclaiming he will reconquer all of Syria. And the U.S. is dealing with unruly rebels who stalled their commitment to the plan and also wrote a letter to the U.S. voicing concern that the deal was meant to benefit Assad and undermine opposition unity. Despite all of this there has been a significant drop in violence since the ceasefire came into effect. And we sure do hope it holds. With the death toll estimated in excess of 400,000 - - it is time for the killing to stop. We also hope it holds because of what might come next, something Assad and the opposition must also be calculating. The gamble of Syria policy under the next administration - Clinton or Trump - has got to be concerning to the opposition who needs U.S. support and might lose it if they're the ones at fault for ceasefire failure. And Assad needs the U.S. to remain at a distance, which might not be the case if his forces are at fault. It's all of our best hopes, however tenuous it might be.

comments powered by Disqus