Cease-fire in Syria

This item appears on page 19 of the April 2016 issue.

The Syrian government and the largest non-Daesh opposition group in Syria agreed to a cease-fire plan submitted by US and Russian negotiators on Feb. 22. The plan called for a halt to all military operations on Feb. 27, including aerial bombings. It also called for aid for civilians and the release of prisoners.
The Islamist militant groups Daesh (ISIL) and al-Nusra Front were not included in the cease-fire, and both the Syrian government and the moderate opposition groups have asked that the militant groups continue to be targeted in air strikes by NATO and Russia.
On Feb. 24, the city of Khanasser (Khanasir), a strategic point on the road to Aleppo in northern Syria, was captured by Daesh. The next day, following a Russian air strike, the Syrian military retook the city.
More than 250,000 people have been killed in the civil war in Syria since it began in 2011, and it has contributed to the growing refugee issue in Europe.