TIME Syria

Syria Cease-Fire Nears Collapse as Both Sides Report Violations

Chief of the Main Operational Directorate of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces Lieutenant-General Sergei Rudskoi attends a news briefing in Moscow, Russia, Sept. 19, 2016.
Sergei Karpukhin—Reuters Chief of the Main Operational Directorate of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces Lieutenant-General Sergei Rudskoi attends a news briefing in Moscow, Russia, Sept. 19, 2016.

Russia says truce considered "meaningless" as rebels strike at Syrian forces. But they too have been accused of violations.

(BEIRUT)— The Russian military is warning that for Syrian government forces, observing the U.S.-Russia-brokered cease-fire has become “meaningless” in view of continuous rebel violations of the truce.

Lt. Gen. Sergei Rudskoi of the Russian military’s General Staff, says the rebels killed 63 civilians and 153 Syrian soldiers since the truce took effect a week ago. He claimed on Monday that the Syrian government forces have observed the truce unilaterally, despite the continuing rebel violations.

The Syrian government forces have in fact also repeatedly been accused of violating the truce.

Rudskoi accused Washington of failing to fulfill its obligations under the truce deal — most importantly to separate the U.S.-backed opposition units from al-Qaida’s branch in Syria. He says that amid the rebel violations, “it has become meaningless for the Syrian government forces to unilaterally observe the cease-fire.”

He didn’t explain whether this means Moscow is opting out of the cease-fire and giving the Syrian government the free hand to freely use force again.

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