Assad regime agrees to Syria peace deal

Syria’s regime agreed on Tuesday to a ceasefire deal announced by the United States and Russia, but there were widespread doubts it could take effect by the weekend as hoped.

The agreement, announced on Monday, does not apply to jihadists such as the Islamic State group and the al-Nusra Front, putting up major hurdles to how it can be implemented on Syria’s complex battlefield.

The Syrian Foreign Ministry said the government would continue to fight both those groups as well as other “terrorists,” while agreeing to stop other military operations “in accordance with the announcement.”

The deal calls for a “cessation of hostilities” between forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad and opposition groups that would take effect overnight Friday-Saturday in Damascus.

The High Negotiations Committee — the leading Syrian opposition group — gave its conditional acceptance to the deal late on Monday. But after several previous failed attempts, few had serious expectations for a lasting ceasefire. — AFP

After several previous failed attempts, few expect a lasting ceasefire