U.S. Ends Ceasefire Talks with Russia


On Oct. 3, 2016, the United States announced that they will suspend their Syrian cease- re talks with Russia. The two countries had previously agreed on a cease re agreement in early September that called for a nationwide cease fire in Syria. The main focus of the United States was to prevent Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s air force from continuing to launch aerial combat missions directed at rebel controlled cities.

The Syrian government publicly supported the initial pact and planned to comply with nationwide cease- re. Secretary of State, John Kerry, and Russian Foreign Minister, Sergey Lavrov, announced on Sept. 9, 2016, that the cease- re pact will go into effect on Sept. 12, 2016.

Rebel controlled cities such as Aleppo were set to receive humanitarian aid. Cooperation from both Russian and U.S. backed groups is critical to the fight against terrorism and the search for a political solution to the Syrian Civil War.

On Sept. 9, 2016, the Syrian government launched an airstrike thirty- five miles outside of Aleppo, bombarding the city of Idlib and killing dozens of civilians. This action directly violated the pact that was set to be put into effect on Sept. 12, 2016.

The city of Aleppo was set to receive humanitarian aid from the United Nations. The U.N. backed the agreement with the intent of opening a gateway to discussion regarding a political solution. The cease- fire would not be official until they went seven days without any hostilities.

On Sept. 17, 2016, the United States launched a series of airstrikes in northeast Syria, killing dozens of Syrian soldiers. Russia informed the United States that Syrian forces were taken out by the airstrike. Once the U.S was informed of this they stopped the aerial attack.

The United States military claims that the attacks were intended to strike Islamic State positions located in northeast Syria. Russia, infuriated with these actions, called an emergency United Nations security council meeting and put the blame on the U.S. for jeopardizing the cease fire.

The Syrian military reacted to these attacks by declaring the end of the cease- fire. Russia and Syria then launched numerous airstrikes on the city of Aleppo. These attacks included one that struck
a United Nations humanitarian aid convoy that was headed for Aleppo. This convoy was headed to Aleppo under the conditions of the cease- fire agreement that was negated earlier that day. This inevitably lead to the suspension of government efforts to revive the cease- re agreement.

The moderate rebel group in Syria continues to refuse reentering discussion with the U.N. until Russia ends the bombardment of Aleppo. This group is in favor of reaching a deal with Russia in order to reduce the attacks against the Syrian people.

The United States will a empt to provide humanitarian aid to those suffering in Syria. Communication between Russia and the U.S. will not end entirely. The two countries will remain in contact to ensure that the two militaries will stay out of one another’s way.