The Syrian government on Tuesday agreed to a ceasefire deal announced by the United States and Russia, but there were widespread doubts whether it could be implemented by the weekend as planned, reported AFP. The ceasefire in the country, announced on Monday, does not apply to the Islamic State militant group and the al Qaeda's Nusra Front, a flaw that was immediately pointed out by Syrian rebels.
A Syrian foreign ministry statement said the government would continue to fight both those militant groups, as well as other terrorists. It agreed to stop other military operations "in accordance with the Russian-American announcement". The ceasefire deal calls for a "cessation of hostilities" between forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad and opposition groups. The High Negotiations Committee – the leading Syrian opposition group – gave its conditional acceptance to the deal late Monday.
Despite being on opposing sides of the conflict, the US and Russia are trying to resolve a conflict that has left more than 2,60,000 dead and forced crores to flee their homes. Both world powers are pursuing separate air wars in Syria, with a US-led coalition targeting IS mainly and other jihadist groups occassionally. Russia says it is targeting terrorists with its airstrikes, but has been accused of hitting non-jihadist groups in support of Assad, who is a longtime ally.