The ceasefire in Syria will not extend to organizations which the UN Security Council designates as terrorist, according to Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s answer to a question concerning Russian Aerospace Forces operations in the event a ceasefire is implemented.
“Our documents contain language, and we have stated that the ceasefire will not cover the Islamic State, Jabhat al-Nusra, and other affiliated organizations which the UN Security Council designates as terrorist. Therefore our Aerospace Forces will continue to operate against these organizations,” Lavrov emphasized.
J.Hawk’s Comment: At first glance it looks like the preliminary agreement is a major diplomatic success for Russia and a defeat for Turkey and Gulf Arab states whose pet terrorist groups will not be allowed a respite, which after was the reason why they so desperately want a ceasefire. It is also a very good sign that Russia’s delegation did not succumb to the pressure by Turkey and even the EU which is unable to stand up to Erdogan’s “weaponization” of the refugees and accept a blanket ceasefire agreement that would have covered terrorist groups, which only would have prolonged the war in Syria by allowing the terrorists to regroup in preparation for the next round of fighting.
The ceasefire terms also provide an incentive to opposition groups to “dis-affiliate” themselves from the Islamic State, al-Nusra, ash-Sham, and other extremist organizations, and the best way to do that is, of course, to join the fight against them. Naturally, the devil is in the details and the proof of the pudding is in the eating–nobody knows what will actually happen. However, the preliminary agreement does allow Russia and Syria to continue fighting against the extremists while hopefully helping peel off as many opposition groups as possible away from the Islamist coalition.