Assad ends Syria ceasefire

The ceasefire in Syria was over before it started as key elements of the agreement never took hold.

Syrian President Basher al-Assad’s army on Monday declared that the week-long ceasefire in the war-torn country is over and resumed the fighting, while at least 12 aid workers were killed an airstrike on their Red Crescent aid convoy in the in Aleppo province, an attack probably conducted by the Russian air force.

The United States said it was prepared to extend the truce deal and Russia and suggested it could still be salvaged.

United Nations Humanitarian Chief Stephen O’Brien called on “all parties to the conflict, once again, to take all necessary measures to protect humanitarian actors, civilians, and civilian infrastructure as required by international humanitarian law.”

Elsewhere on Monday, at least 20 civilians, including a 1-year-old girl, were killed in airstrikes on rebel-held Aleppo and the surrounding areas, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR).

With the week-old ceasefire under threat, both Moscow and Washington expressed a desire to try and rescue the agreement that had brought a brief respite to at least some parts of the country.

In the wake of the Syrian military declaration, US Secretary of State John Kerry acknowledged that the first stage of the truce — which called for a week of calm and the delivery of humanitarian aid to several besieged communities — had never really come to fruition, this after stating earlier in the day that the truce was “holding but fragile.”

From the start, the truce has been inundated by difficulties and mutual accusations of violations.

Aid deliveries to Aleppo have not reached their destination. The UN accused the government of obstructing the delivery while Russian officials said rebels opened fire along the delivery routes.

Rebel forces and activists say government planes have bombed areas that are under the truce agreement, including rebel-held parts of Aleppo. Heavy fighting continued in southern Syria along the border with Israel. At least 22 civilians were killed in government bombings over the last week.

By: World Israel News Staff
AP contributed to this report.