[31 January 2017] Syria’s ceasefire risks coming undone, Syrian human rights monitors warn, if urgent action is not taken to ensure adequate enforcement and to establish an independent monitoring mechanism. In a new report released on Monday, the Syrian Network for Human Rights (SNHR) documented a total of 366 breaches of the Syrian ceasefire since it went into effect on 30 December 2016, no less than 98 percent of which were caused by Russia and the Assad regime. These violations led to more than 100 deaths, the vast majority of them civilians.
“We are seeing yet another Syrian ceasefire under threat of collapse due to a lack of credible monitoring and enforcement,” Fadel Abdul Ghany, Chairman of the Syrian Network for Human Rights said. “Russia and the regime are continuing combat and arrest operations across Syria in clear violation of the ceasefire, and they are doing so with total impunity. If the ceasefire is to hold, it must be independently and impartially monitored by the United Nations, not parties to the conflict, who themselves engage in war crimes. Additionally, violators of the ceasefire must be held accountable with credible and enforced consequences. Without effective enforcement, the ceasefire—on which the success of the political process hinges—risks failing, and Syria’s civilians will pay the price.”