The Syrian government on Tuesday accepted a proposed ceasefire by the United States and Russia aimed at ending the violence in the war-torn country. The government said that it would halt “combat operations” but will continue its fight against terrorist organizations, including the Islamic State group, the al Qaeda-linked Nusra Front and others.
Syria’s Foreign Ministry reportedly said in a statement that the government will coordinate with Russia to decide which groups and areas would be included in the “cessation of hostilities” plan, which according to the U.S.-Russian plan, is due to take effect Saturday. The statement added that military forces will have the right to respond to any violence carried out by terrorist groups.
The Syrian government emphasized on the need to seal the borders and halt foreign support to armed groups and “preventing these organizations from strengthening their capabilities or changing their positions, in order to avoid what may lead to wrecking this agreement,” Reuters reported, citing the statement.
The government also announced “its acceptance of a halt to combat operations on the basis of continuing military efforts to combat terrorism against Daesh (ISIS), the Nusra Front, and the other terrorist organizations linked to it and to the al Qaeda organization, according to the Russian-American announcement.”
The Syrian military will take necessary actions if there is “any breach by these groups against Syrian citizens or against its armed forces,” the government statement reportedly added.
The official response to the U.S. and Russia-brokered ceasefire came after the High Negotiations Committee, the main umbrella for Syrian opposition and rebel groups, said late Monday that it “agrees to a temporary truce” as long as the main opposition's demands are met.
The HNC said that “acceptance of the truce is conditional” to the Syrian government ending its siege of 18 rebel-held areas, the Associated Press reported, adding that the opposition wanted the release of detainees and the cessation of aerial and artillery strikes.
Meanwhile, Turkish Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus said Tuesday that it welcomes the ceasefire plans in Syria, but doubts whether the talks will have a positive outcome, Reuters reported.