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US Intentions in Syria Truce Doubtful
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US Intentions in Syria Truce Doubtful

 A senior Iranian official cast doubt over the US support for a Syria ceasefire recently agreed by major powers, and stressed that the Arab country's nation is the one that can decide their fate.
"Americans have no goodwill in advocating the truce in Syria," the head of the Center for Strategic Research of the Expediency Council Ali Akbar Velayati, also told reporters on the sidelines of a conference in Tehran, Tasnim News Agency reported.
"They are seeking regime change in Syria and the Syrian ceasefire is a pretext for changing the government of Bashar al-Assad. Deciding on the future of Syria is only possible through the Syrian nation's will, not through the UN's decision or that of other states."
A cessation of hostilities in Syria that took effect on Saturday was part of a negotiated deal, based on the United Nations Security Council Resolution 2254, passed in December 2015.
The deal, which contained three main commitments around facilitating the supply of humanitarian aid, a negotiated ceasefire and a political transition, was reached in Munich by the International Syria Support Group, a group of international actors mandated to find a resolution to the Syrian conflict.
In theory, the ceasefire should apply to all of Syria. However, Russia has insisted that, along with its allied forces, it reserves the right to attack the self-styled Islamic State militant group and al-Nusra Front forces as these two groups are outside the framework of the ceasefire, as are other groups labeled as "terrorist" by the UN.
The Russian coordinating unit in Syria said there had been several breaches of the ceasefire, although the partial cessation of hostilities appeared to be broadly intact.
There are efforts to strengthen the ceasefire, increase humanitarian access and build confidence before the resumption of peace talks in Geneva on March 7. Syria has been gripped by civil war since March 2011 with militants, including IS, currently controlling parts of it, mostly in the east.
The Syrian conflict has killed at least 260,000 people, according to the UN, and more than half of the country's prewar population of 22.4 million have been internally displaced or fled abroad.

 

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