シリア情勢 露主導の停戦に不安が残る

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Uncertainties remain about Russia-led ceasefire to end Syrian civil war
シリア情勢 露主導の停戦に不安が残る

The ceasefire brokered by the United States and Russia to end the Syrian civil war has taken effect. Fighting between the administration of President Bashar Assad and antigovernment groups has largely subsided but it remains to be seen whether the truce can be maintained.

Large-scale fighting has been halted temporarily for the first time in the five years since the start of the civil war. The United Nations has announced a plan for peace talks, suspended in early February, to resume next Monday. The ceasefire must be maintained to help promote these talks.

The main framework of the ceasefire agreement is for the Assad regime and rebel groups to end their hostilities and accept food and water supplies for citizens from the United Nations and other organizations. The accord also calls for both parties to resume peace talks and discuss how to implement a road map starting with the establishment of a transitional government and leading to an election and formation of a new government.

The truce does not apply to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) militant group, the Al-Qaida-linked Nusra Front and other terrorist organizations. The U.S.-led coalition and Russia are permitted to continue military campaigns against these groups.

ISIL has stated it will try to thwart the ceasefire by continuing hostilities and terrorist attacks. Resolute responses are needed by the countries concerned.

Ukraine a vexing precedent

One worry is a scenario in which the Assad regime and its ally Russia attack rebel groups under the pretext of wiping out terrorist groups, thereby breaking the truce.

Before the ceasefire went into effect, air raids were carried out on the rebels’ stronghold in Aleppo on the grounds that Nusra Front fighters “are in the neighborhood.”

The activities of the Nusra Front and the rebel groups overlap in many areas. Can Russia give a good explanation that it is not attacking the rebels?

The ceasefire will be monitored by U.S., Russian and other working teams, but their operations are limited to information-gathering in areas where Russian troops are stationed and in Jordan, a country adjacent to Syria.

The effectiveness of the truce cannot be assured unless an international framework including the United Nations is established to confirm on the spot when the ceasefire is violated and to respond adequately.

U.S. President Barack Obama revealed his suspicions about Russia over the truce, saying that he was “not under any illusions.” He made this statement likely because of what happened in the Ukrainian conflict. While calling for a ceasefire, Russia continued to provide assistance to pro-Russia armed groups.

The truce this time was reached with Moscow taking the leading role. Russian President Vladimir Putin said, “The true opportunity for ending bloodshed and violence has finally come.” He made this statement likely because he had ascertained that the Assad regime could be kept in place and Russia could secure influence in the Middle East to counter that of the United States.

The U.S.-Russia struggle for hegemony will only make it more difficult to resolve the conflict. Unless the civil war is ended, ISIL will not be weakened and the outflow of refugees will not be curbed. The international community must not forget this.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, March 1, 2016)


srachai について

early retired civil engineer migrated from Tokyo to Thailand
カテゴリー: 英字新聞 パーマリンク



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