Friday, December 30, 2016

Security Council Session on Syria Ceasefire

Security Council Session on Syria Ceasefire

by Stephen Lendman

At Russia’s request, Security Council members will meet in closed session Friday afternoon to discuss Syria ceasefire terms - agreed on by Russia, Iran, Turkey and Damascus.

According to Reuters, a draft resolution will be considered, announced by Moscow and Ankara on Thursday, a possible Saturday vote to follow.

If SC members recommend changes, most likely they “can be easily absorbed into the draft,” Russian UN envoy Vitaly Churkin explained.

Seven major opposition groups agreed to the ceasefire. Others aren’t on board yet. Sergey Lavrov said groups failing to comply will be considered terrorists and dealt with appropriately.

According to the Istanbul-based Daily Sabah, draft resolution terms to be considered, subject to revisions, state the following:

1. Ceasefire will be declared throughout Syria except in areas controlled by UN-designated terrorist groups and others where terms are violated - to continue as long as the political process remains ongoing.

2. Turkey guarantees compliance in all areas controlled by opposition elements agreeing to the deal.

3. Russia guarantees to cease aerial bombardments in these areas. Syrian ground and air operations will halt except in areas controlled by UN-designated terrorist groups.

4. Russia and Turkey will assure opposition groups make no attempt to seize new territory while ceasefire remains in force.

5. Both countries will decide on proper monitoring arrangements.

6. If after one month ceasefire holds, conflict resolution talks will begin.

7. Russia and Turkey guarantee delivery of humanitarian aid to all war-torn areas in need.

Putin and Erdogan discussed arrangements by phone a numerous times before Russia’s president’s announced the ceasefire and Friday’s afternoon Security Council session.

Will Obama use his waning days in office disruptively? Will he denigrate his legacy more than already? 

Will Trump go another way geopolitically once in office? Will he prioritize diplomacy over belligerence or continue dirty business as usual? A lot depends on what he decides.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 


Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.