Inside Story

Will a ceasefire in Syria hold?

Damascus has accepted the Russian-US cessation of hostilities plan, but insists it will continue to fight “terrorism”.

After years of fighting and months of diplomatic wrangling, the United States and Russia have agreed to a “cessation of hostilities” in Syria. 

It is supposed to start first thing on Saturday and requires both countries to persuade their allies on the ground to stop fighting. 

But there are major problems. The agreement excludes the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and al-Nusra Front and allows air strikes to continue against both of those groups. 

And Syrian rebels say the exclusion of al-Nusra Front gives Russia a pretext to continue to attack areas in which various rebel groups are tightly packed. 

So, how will this plan work? And could it really lead to a political statement? 

Presenter: Mike Hanna


Jean-Marc Rickli – Associate Fellow, Geneva Centre for Security Policy. 

Mark Sleboda – International relations and security analyst. 

Justin Bronk – Research analyst, Royal United Services Institute.