Secretary of State John Kerry and Sergey V. Lavrov announced today that they had agreed to begin delivering relief aid to besieged Syrian cities, which would be a precursor to a “cessation of hostilities” within a week from that point. Ultimately, the goal will be formal agreement to a cease-fire.
“We have agreed to implement a nationwide cessation of hostilities in one week’s time. That is ambitious. The real test is whether all the parties honor those commitments.”
Source: New York Times
While Republicans have been routinely declaring Obama to be a weakling who beckoned aggression from Russia, and caused the rest of the world mock the United States, Obama and Kerry were doing the actual work of grown-up diplomats. All Republicans have done is complain and offer blind rage as an alternative strategy. If things go as planned, this will be the first formal halt to the majority of hostilities in Syria since the civil war broke out in 2011. The cease-fire will not bring an end to ALL hostilities, due to ISIS and al Nusra terrorists being active in the area. However, the fighting between other elements will come to an end. It could allow for a focused assault on ISIS in Syria, and end with them being driven out of the state, as well as bringing an end to a large amount of the refugee crisis in the Middle-East and Europe.
All sides seem to have come to an agreement that Syria is at something of a breaking point, so with some luck, this will bring a long needed peace to the region. Secretary Kerry was adamant that these agreements did not indicate any form of “giving in” to Assad’s recent territorial gains made from an invigorated bombing campaign:
“Yes, I agree the bombing the of past few weeks has made a difference for Assad. But that difference does not end the war. The more territory Mr. Assad seizes, Mr. Kerry said, “the more successful he is in creating terrorists.”
Source: New York Times
Both the planned humanitarian missions and the cessation of hostilities are going to be monitored by task forces, with Kerry and Lavrov in charge of them. It was also implied that the agreement on Syria would eventually include increased military cooperation between Russia and the United States, but this was not elaborated on.
Yet again, Obama and his administration have done more on their own about another world crisis than the entire Republican party has managed to do in four years.
Watch comments from Secretary of State Kerry below:
Featured image from Twitter