Air strikes kill 100 in Syria after truce plan
September 11th, 2016 at 1:20 pm
Air strikes kill 100 in Syria after truce plan

International desk – At least 100 people were killed in rebel-held areas of Syria after the United States and Russia announced plans for a truce.

An air strike on a market in Idlib killed up to 60 people while at least 45 died in strikes on Aleppo province, BBC reported quoting opposition activists.

A 10-day truce is meant to start on Monday, followed by coordinated air strikes against jihadist militants.

Turkey and the EU welcomed the plan but warned that further action was needed.

Turkey said aid must be delivered from the very start while EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini looked towards a “political transition”.

A spokeswoman for Syria’s opposition said the plan provided some hope but more details were needed about how it would be enforced.

In the capital, Damascus, the government endorsed the deal, the state news agency Sana reported.

There has been no official reaction from Iran which, like Russia, is allied to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

The conflict in Syria, which began with an uprising against Assad, has raged for five years and claimed the lives of more than a quarter of a million people.

The United States and Russia agrees for a peace plan on Syria

The United States and Russia agrees for a peace plan on Syria

Millions have fled abroad, many of them seeking asylum in the Europe, but nearly 18 million people remain in Syria, which has been carved up by fighting between government and rebel forces.

When a busy vegetable market was targeted in Idlib, as many as 90 people were injured in addition to those killed, media and opposition activists say.

Some of Saturday’s air strikes are believed to have hit the towns of Anadan and Hreitan near Aleppo, Syria’s second city.

Getting a deal was an achievement, given the sour atmosphere between Moscow and Washington. It offers some fragile hope about stopping the slaughter.

But there is scepticism about its chances. That is because a lot is going to have to go right, quite quickly, if the agreement is to work. One necessity is President Assad’s consent. A week-long ceasefire might be possible, but a political deal to end the war is still out of sight.

The Assad regime’s survival depends on the Russians, so he will listen to them. But with Russia’s help, the Assad regime is looking more robust. So it is hard to see why the president, or his Russian allies, would want him to go, according to BBC analysis.

The war in Syria is made up of layers of conflict, which connect up to regional and global rivalries. That makes it very hard to calm, let alone end.

The truce is due to take hold at sunset on Monday, at the start of the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha. Under the plan, Syrian government forces will end combat missions in specified opposition-held areas.

“If this arrangement holds then we will see a significant reduction in violence across Syria,” said John Kerry:

Jihadist groups like so-called Islamic State and Jabhat Fateh al-Sham (formerly known as Nusra Front) face the joint might of the Russian and US air forces

Russian foreign minister Lavrov said only the Russian and US air forces would operate in areas designated for coordinated strikes but added that the Syrian air force could operate in other areas.

Welcoming the deal, Turkey, which launched its first major military incursion into Syria last month, said it was essential to halt fighting across Syria and deliver humanitarian aid to those in need “from the first day”.