Ministry: Syria accepts ceasefire deal
Tue Feb 23, 2016
The Syrian government says it accepts the terms of a ceasefire deal.
The Syrian government says it accepts the terms of a ceasefire deal announced by the United States and Russia on Monday.
According to a statement released by the Syrian Foreign Ministry on Tuesday, the government accepts the deal on the basis that military efforts against terrorist Daesh and Nusra Front groups continue.
The statement said the government will stop armed operations but will "continue counter-terrorism efforts" against Daesh, al-Qaeda and affiliated groups.
Syria will coordinate with Russia to decide which groups and areas will be included in the "cessation of hostilities" plan which is due to take effect on Saturday according to the US-Russian plan, it said.
The Syrian military, however, reserves the right to "respond to any breach by these groups against Syrian citizens or against its armed forces," the statement added.
The government also stressed the importance of sealing the borders and halting foreign support to armed groups.
It warned that third parties must prevent "these organisations from strengthening their capabilities or changing their positions, in order to avoid what may lead to wrecking this agreement."
Turkish PM insists Syrian Kurds linked to PKK
Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu insisted that Syrian Kurdish GYP militia was taking orders from PKK militants after the group rejected any links to a deadly bombing in Ankara last week.
Speaking in parliament, Davutoglu said blaming the PKK for the car bomb attack which killed 28 people in the Turkish capital was an attempt to exonerate the YPG.
The Syrian Kurdish group is fighting militants based near the Turkish border. It has made significant advances in recent weeks against the foreign-backed groups which seek to topple President Bashar al-Assad.
The YPG has denied any role in the bombing, but Davutoglu said the group and PKK worked together in carrying out the attack.
Turkey-based the Kurdistan Freedom Falcons (TAK) has claimed responsibility for the car bombing, saying it carried out the attack in response to the policies of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.