Obama warns Putin ‘the world will be watching’


By Arti Bali

US-Russia brokered ceasefire between forces loyal to the Syrian government and Western-backed rebelsis set to start  at midnight Friday but Russian warplanes will  continue pounding terrorist groups  and President Barack Obama  said the truce won’t apply to Islamic State or Al-Nusra.

Obama warned Assad and Russian Putin  by saying ” The world will be watching Syrian ceasefire”.

‘All parties that are part of the cessation of activities need to end attacks, including aerial bombardment. Humanitarian aid must be allowed to reach areas under siege,’ Obama said.

The temporary ceasefire was agreed to end 5-year old civil war in Syria that has killed about 470,000 people and displaced 11 million, creating a refugee crisis in Europe.

The cessation of hostilities plan does not include Islamic State,ISIL or Daesh and the al qaeda linked Nusra Front spreading  in opposition-held areas and to allow aid groups to deliver humanitarian supplies .

Addressing the cessation of hostilities scheduled to start in Syria at midnight local time Friday, Obama said that though there are “plenty of reasons for skepticism,” it could save lives if implemented.

“We don’t expect the violence to end immediately,” Obama said. There will be no ceasefire with IS, and groups like the Al-Nusra Front are expected to continue fighting as well, as they are “not part of any negotiations, and… hostile to the US,” in the president’s words.

Kurdish forces in Syria announced to respect a ceasefire but retain the right to “retaliate” if attacked.

“We, the People’s Protection Units (YPG), give great importance to the process of cessation of hostilities announced by the United States and Russia and we will respect it, while retaining the right to retaliate…if we are attacked,” YPG spokesman Redur Xelil said on Thursday.

The YPG leads the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), a coalition of Kurdish and Arab fighters on Thursday welcomed the truce on the same terms while Bashar al Assad government is determined to continue the battle in Darayya, stating that Jabhat al-Nusra terrorists are fighting there

“If they’re not serious then we’re going to have come here and talk about whatever a Plan B is going to be,” Secretary of State John Kerry said Tuesday before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

“Going forward we have to be very careful a different problem is not created by our short-term interest in working with the Kurds against ISIS,” he said

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