Russia and US Announce New Plan for a Cease Fire in Syria, Provision of Humanitarian Aid

As Syria’s civil war rages on and refugees seek help from wherever they can find it, global powers have been discussing solutions to the hostilities in Syria. Part of that effort exists in a new deal between the United States and Russia to deliver humanitarian aid to the war-torn country, as well as begin the process towards a formal cease-fire in the region.

This comes at a time where the possibility of military stability in Syria is not entirely realistic in the face of ISIS, which answers to no one. There is no way to truly monitor a cease-fire, even an informal, temporary pause. The terms of such a pause are not clearly defined, leaving Russia with an opportunity to back out of the terms should they not work quickly. That being said, if this cease-fire can be negotiated, it will be the first formal reprieve in the fighting Syria has seen since the beginning of the civil war.

Aside from the temporary pause in fighting, the new agreement focuses on the humanitarian aid needs of Syrians. The relief packages will be distributed fairly, being handed out to rebel groups the United States has been supporting, as well as government supporters. Part of this effort’s success is in using the connections and resources already present on the ground.

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Despite the deal, tensions remain high between Russia and the United States. Russia has been bombing rebel groups that the United States has been funding. Support for the Syrian government is high in Moscow, as there has been this expectation of Russia as a deliverer of sorts for the Syrian government. It is expected that because the terms of this new deal are so vague and nebulous, the Russian military may dangle the territory they already have, and whatever new territory they gain in coming months, as a bargaining chip in future negotiations.