Update: Situation as of March 4, 2016
In analyzing reports of the “ceasefire” in Syria, the reader should bear in mind that no serious monitoring mechanism has been put in place. Russia and the Unitd States to a large degree control the flow of information about the overall ceasefire situation in Syria.
The U.S. State Department set up a ludicrous system by which local citizens were to call in with reports of violations. The U.S.-Russian commission to oversee the casefire did not meet for a week, until Fench demands goaded the sponsors into action.
What is needed, at the earliest possible moment, is an independent ceasefire monitoring operation, e.g., one similar to the U.N. Security Council supervision in 2012 under S.C. Resolutions 2042 and 2043.
Otherwise, Russia and the Unitd States can be expected to manipulate the flow of information in order to further their respective agendas, which at the moment may be to force the parties to meet in a new round of “proximity talks”.
(The U.N. never seems to miss an opportunity to follow an organizational precedent, such as “proximity talks”, however unsuccessful it may have been in the past.)
The hard reality is that the parties are not remotely prepared to negotiate a political solution in Syria, and the talks–now as in 2012–serve mainly to mask that reality.
Dominique Soguel (Istanbul), “Without a Plan B, Syria truce is holding despite its flaws; Both sides are alleging violations in the Syria truce, for which there appear to be no consequences. But overall the violence has been dramatically reduced,” Christian Science Monitor, March 4, 2016.
“Syrien: Rebellen werfen Assad Bruch von Waffenruhe vor; Nicht mal eine Woche ist die vereinbarte Feuerpause in Syrien alt. Nun beklagt eine Rebellengruppe den Einsatz von Fassbomben durch das Regime von Machthaber Baschar al-Assad.” Der Spiegel, 4. Marz 2016 (11:57 Uhr).
Situation as of February 29, 2016
“SYRIEN-KONFLIKT: Tausenden droht in eingekesselten Orten der Hungertod Seit Samstag schweigen die Waffen in Syrien – zumindest fast. Doch die Menschen sind weiter in Gefahr. Durch die jahrelange Belagerung drohen sie zu verhungern. Frankreich drängt zu Kontroll-Treffen,” Die Welt, 29. Februar 2016.
Linda Loveluck, “Assad regime accused of violating Syria’s fragile ceasefire
Countries backing Syria’s peace process called an emergency meeting over reported breaches of the truce implemented just two days ago, The Telegraph, February 29, 2016 (7:39 p.m.).