US and Russia announce Syria truce plan

US and Russia announce Syria truce plan
2 min read
10 September, 2016
The United States and Russia announced a plan for a ceasefire in Syria, to begin on Monday, after marathon talks in Geneva.
John Kerry and Sergei Lavrov announced the new plan late on Friday [AFP]

The United State and Russia on Friday agreed a plan to impose a ceasefire in the Syrian civil war and lay the foundation of a peace process, US Secretary of State John Kerry said.

Standing by Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov after a day of marathon talks in Geneva, Kerry said he believed the plan would lead to talks to "stop the conflict".

"Today, the United States and Russia are announcing a plan which we hope will reduce violence, ease suffering and resume movement towards a negotiated peace and a political transition in Syria," Kerry said

"The United States is going the extra mile here because we believe Russia and my colleague have the capability to press the Assad regime to stop this conflict and come to the table and make peace," he said.

Kerry said that the truce would come into force on Monday, the first day of the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha and that if it lasted a week the United States would begin cooperation with Russian forces to target the Nusra Front and Islamic State groups.

In the first Syrian rebel response to the US-Russian announcement, the Islamist Ahrar al-Sham group rejected the plan to target Fath al-Sham, formerly known as al-Nusra Front.

"We refuse the bombardment of Jabhat Fath al-Sham by US and Russian warplanes on principle," a source within Ahrar al-Sham told The New Arab.