Syria truce holds on second day

World Sunday 28/February/2016 22:08 PM
By: Times News Service
Syria truce holds on second day

Beirut/Geneva: Cessation of hostilities in Syria appears to be mostly holding for a second day despite accusations of violations and air strikes in Aleppo province.
Syria's opposition will stick to the cessation of hostilities despite what they said were 15 violations by Syrian government forces on Saturday and more breaches on Sunday, a spokesman for the High Negotiating Committee (HNC) said.
"The decision is to remain quiet, not to do anything, and I believe they will stick to the truce," Salim Al Muslat said.
"Yesterday was the first day people can really go out and walk in the streets."
Late on Sunday, In a letter to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Syria's opposition said continued violations by the Syrian government and its allies of a US-Russia truce deal would make the resumption of UN-backed negotiations "unattainable".
The opposition also said violations would undermine "international efforts to guarantee the continuation of the truce and will lead to the collapse of the UN-adopted political process.
Syrian military sources deny violations.
"The goal of accepting the temporary truce is in implementing humanitarian articles of UNSG concord 2254. However, the lack of progress in this would push us to look for other ways to protect Syrian people. So there must a firm security council position on this before its too late."
On Saturday a Syrian military source denied the army was violating the truce after insurgents reported operations against them in several areas.
The opposition is waiting for answers about how the cessation of hostilities in Syria, which came into effect at midnight on Friday, is being monitored, he said, and it was unclear how truce violations were to be punished. There was also no map with a common understanding of where the various fighting groups are, he said.
"Until this moment we did not really get any answers," he said. "This really worries us because we don't know how to deal with any violations and what are the areas that should not be targeted."
He said the United States should inform the HNC, and should have involved them before backing a UN resolution on the cessation of hostilities.
Muslat also blamed the United States for not insisting the HNC was mentioned specifically in the resolution, which paves the way for a round of peace talks in Geneva on March 7.