Syria’s fragile ceasefire on verge of collapse

Rebel leaders expressed every intention to avoid peace talks as long as the Syrian government continues its reported violations of  last week’s ceasefire agreement. 

A number of rebel groups in Syria said that they intend to freeze future peace talks in Astana, Kazakhstan, until the Syrian army decides to stop its reported violations of a ceasefire agreement brokered by Russia and Turkey that went into effect last Friday.

“The regime and its allies have continued firing and committed many and large violations,” a number of rebel leaders said in a statement. “As these violations are continuing, the rebel factions announce the freezing of all discussion linked to the Astana negotiations.”

The rebel leaders claimed in its statement that the Syrian army violated the ceasefire agreement northwest of the Syrian capital of Damascus in the Wadi Barada valley, which is controlled by rebel forces.

Since the ceasefire came into effect, more than 1,000 women and children have fled Wadi Barada for regions controlled by the Syrian government.

The rebel leaders warned already over the weekend that repeated violations by the regime in Damascus threaten to destroy the ceasefire agreement.  

“Continued violations by the regime and bombardment and attempts to attack areas under the control of the revolutionary factions will make the agreement null and void,” a statement signed by a number of rebel groups said.

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By: Jonathan Benedek, World Israel News