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08 Jul 2017

SyrianCivilWar: US-Russia-Jordan agree to ceasefire, raises hopes for peace

The US, Russia and Jordan have agreed to a ceasefire across the south-western Syrian regions of Daraa, Quneitra and Sweida.

The ceasefire, which is due to begin on Sunday, was announced after a face-to-face meeting between US President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin in Hamburg.

Jordan said the ceasefire will take place around terms agreed by both rebel and Syrian government forces.

In context

New ceasefire announced in Syria

Beginning

How did the Syrian civil war begin?

For years, Syrians complained of high unemployment, corruption and lack of political freedom under Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's rule.

In March 2011, the Syrian government used deadly force to crush pro-democracy protests inspired by the Arab Spring in Deraa.

This triggered nationwide protests and crackdowns, paving way for the opposition to take up arms.

As violence escalated, the country descended into a civil war.

Syria turns into massive proxy battleground

One of the biggest reasons why the Syrian Civil War has lasted seven years is the involvement of several different warring parties, each backed by different foreign powers. This has increased sectarianism and dimmed hopes for a political settlement. Syria is a proxy battleground.

Who supports who?

Syria a mix match of opposing sides and loyalties

The US-backed Western countries, Arab countries and Turkey support the Sunni-majority rebels against the Assad regime.

The US supports the Kurdish militia who is fervently opposed by American-ally Turkey.

Russia, Iran, Hezbollah and other Shiite militias support the Assad regime against the rebels.

In the middle of all these is ISIS, which has emerged as a major player. ISIS is opposed by all parties.

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US and Russia

Russia and US biggest foreign players in Syrian conflict

Russia and the US, both of which support opposing sides, have emerged as the largest foreign players in Syria.

Besides arming rebel and Kurdish forces, the US also carries out regular anti-ISIS operations and airstrikes.

Russia is arming Syrian government forces and actively conducting airstrikes and missile strikes against rebel forces and ISIS.

Its intervention in 2015 saved the Assad regime from near-certain defeat.

Civil war causes irreversible damage to Syrian demography

The Syrian Civil War has claimed over 300,000 lives and left millions more wounded. The conflict has caused irreversible changes to the nation's demography, leaving 6.3 million people internally displaced and 5.5 million people to leave the country.

08 Jul 2017

SyrianCivilWar: US-Russia-Jordan agree to ceasefire, raises hopes for peace

The US, Russia and Jordan have agreed to a ceasefire across the south-western Syrian regions of Daraa, Quneitra and Sweida.

The ceasefire, which is due to begin on Sunday, was announced after a face-to-face meeting between US President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin in Hamburg.

Jordan said the ceasefire will take place around terms agreed by both rebel and Syrian government forces.

Details

US-Russia-Jordan to act as guarantors for ceasefire

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said the ceasefire is a result of months of secret meetings between Russian and American officials on Syria.

He said Russia and America would coordinate with Jordan to act as guarantors for the ceasefire.

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said the ceasefire is the "first indication of the US and Russia being able to work together in Syria."

Ceasefire and Trump-Putin meeting shows US-Russia convergence

Tillerson said Putin and Trump discussed how both countries can continue working together to "de-escalate" fighting in other areas of Syria. He said both countries eventually have "exactly the same" goals for Syria but they differ on how to achieve it.

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