Russia, US reach Syria ceasefire deal

Saturday, 10 September, 2016 - 09:15

Russia and United States reached a deal on a new Syrian ceasefire Friday, which, if it holds, could see the first joint military effort by the two powers against militants.

US Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said the truce would come into force on Monday.

The two powers back opposite sides of the conflict, with Moscow supporting Bashar Al Assad and the US behind a coalition of rebel groups and terrorists called as moderate.

Key to the deal is the withdrawal of Syrian regime forces around rebel-held Aleppo, allowing desperately needed humanitarian access to besieged communities.

Russia also needs to persuade the Syrian air force to stop strikes on anti-government positions.

In turn, Washington has to get the opposition groups it backs to separate themselves from Al Nusra, which has allied itself with a range of rebels at different points in the fluid conflict.