The ceasefire in Syria that took effect on February 27 was part of a negotiated deal, based on United Nations Security Council Resolution 2254, passed in December 2015.

The deal that contained three main commitments around humanitarian access, a negotiated ceasefire and a political transition was reached in Munich by the International Syria Support Group (ISSG), a group of international actors mandated to find a resolution to the Syrian conflict.

The ISSG, which includes major regional actors, such as Iran, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and Qatar, as well as regional bodies, such as the Arab League and the European Union, has emerged out of previous attempts, notably the Geneva process, to negotiate a political solution to the Syrian conflict.

The major difference between the ISSG's success in negotiating a deal in February had little to do with its structure or political agreement among the key sides.

Instead, the February deal has everything to do with the changing dynamics on the ground and the ability of Russia and its allies to impose a political vision for ending the conflict that suits their interests.

Below are answers to some key questions about what these commitments entail, what their chances of success are, and how the Munich agreement may shape the future of Syria.

READ MORE: Syria's future shaped by Russian designs

What does the ceasefire in Syria mean on the ground? Which areas will observe it and which areas will not?

In theory, the ceasefire should apply to all of Syria. However, Russia has insisted that, along with its allied forces, it reserve the right to attack the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) group and al-Nusra Front forces as these two groups are outside the framework of the ceasefire, as are other groups labelled as 'terrorist' by the UN.

This means that the ceasefire is not geographically demarcated. This exception to the ceasefire is very problematic, however, because Russian forces have attacked many rebel groups and civilian areas under the justification of attacking ISIL and Nusra.

The commitment to a political transition envisaged through the UN Security Council Resolution 2254 is unlikely to generate resources and energy at this point when so much focus is on the ceasefire.

These two groups have become convenient scapegoats for Russian attacks throughout Syria. Russia has essentially reserved the right to militarily engage any armed groups in Syria under the pretext of fighting ISIL and Nusra.

The United States has been working with Russia in an attempt to designate whether certain areas are ceasefire-abiding areas or not, but they have yet to agree on the specific geographic contours of the agreement. The absence of such contours will give Russia greater military latitude.

Practically speaking, this means that large swaths of Syrian territory in which these groups are present, particularly in the eastern and northwestern parts of the country, will remain active conflict zones.

Groups outside of the ceasefire, such as Ahrar al-Sham and others labelled as terrorist groups, remain present in parts of Homs and Hama provinces, as well as near Damascus, meaning these areas also potentially lie outside of the ceasefire zones.

OPINION: A ceasefire in Syria is pure fantasy

What are the chances of the ceasefire holding and for how long? What could it hold and why might it not?

The ceasefire is unlikely to hold for three main reasons: First, Russia and its allies have reserved the right to attack forces outside of the ceasefire. This means that any violence on the ground that is committed by Russia or regime-led forces can be justified within the framework of the Munich agreement and the ceasefire under the pretence of fighting ISIL.

As such, Russia can have its cake and eat it, too; it has reserved the right to militarily engage armed groups while demanding that they cease all hostilities. Second, there are simply thousands of small, organised brigades in Syria that have little interest in a cessation of hostilities.

There is a network of armed groups who have benefitted handsomely from the conflict and for whom a ceasefire may threaten them and their activities.

It is counterintuitive; however, it is important to note that not all of the violence in Syria is driven by metapolitical issues, such as trying to overthrow the regime, and that there are micropolitical issues, such as security and smuggling, that also motivate armed groups.

Talk to Al Jazeera: Davutoglu on ISIL, Syrian refugees, and Ankara bombing [extended version]

With little incentive aside from the possible reprieve from Russian bombing, it is unlikely that many of these groups will be motivated to observe the ceasefire.

Third, most of the rebel groups inside of Syria cooperate with other groups on the battlefield. This cooperation has as much to do with their political or ideological affinities as it does their relative strengths and weaknesses and need to build alliances to make military gains.

Thus, very few armed groups inside Syria operate independently of other groups, blurring the distinctions between them. Isolating a few groups as outside of the ceasefire betrays the organisational structure of violence on the ground and the reality that most groups cooperate on the battlefield.

How many of the rebel groups have committed to the ceasefire?

According to the Syrian opposition's High Negotiations Committee (HNC), more than 100 rebel factions agreed to abide by the terms of the ceasefire. Many of the stronger rebel groups, such as Ahrar al-Sham and Jaish al-Islam, are outside of the terms of the ceasefire as they are labelled as terrorist groups and remain subject to attacks.

This will complicate and weaken the ceasefire as both of these groups are known to cooperate with opposition-backed armed groups committed to the ceasefire. The greatest chance for success of the ceasefire is if there is significant compliance over the initial two-week period and that this brings different groups - whether officially or not - under the umbrella of the ceasefire.

People and Power - Syria: Under Russia's fist

What are the chances that humanitarian aid will reach the besieged areas?

While chances that the ceasefire will hold are slim, the agreement will likely lead to enhanced humanitarian access throughout the country.

Humanitarian airlifts are about to begin the delivery of relief to besieged areas, and there are agreements between regime and opposition forces to lift sieges imposed on specific towns and villages. This includes Madaya, where a devastating siege by regime forces has been in place for months.

Creating and maintaining access to areas in need should be reinforced by a large commitment of ISSG members to provide medicines, food, and other necessities. Unfortunately, the agreement does not carry stipulations for levels of humanitarian aid as it focuses solely on creating access.

Will the ceasefire lead to a political transition?

Unlikely. Advancing a political transition is the third goal of the agreement but is the least likely to generate any interest among the main parties at this point. At this point, international efforts have been focused on efforts where there is relative agreement specifically on the need for a ceasefire and creating humanitarian access.

The contours of a political transition remain very contentious, and while the Western world is gravitating towards the Russian position on the architecture of a political transition, there is enough resistance from the political opposition and regional states to prevent a consensus on the issue.

The commitment to a political transition envisaged through the UN Security Council Resolution 2254 is unlikely to generate resources and energy at this point when so much focus is on the ceasefire.

Source: Aljazeera