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Syria ceasefire deal: What we know so far

Syria ceasefire deal: What we know so far
A new ceasefire deal that comes into force on Friday may be the biggest chance in months to curb the violence in Syria and pave the way for a political transition in the country. This is what we know so far.

Q:  What does the deal cover?

A:  Theoretically, the whole of Syria. In practice, terrorist groups Islamic State and Al-Nusra Front are not part of the deal by default, so territories under their control or under attack by them are unlikely to benefit.

Q:  Who supports it?

A:  Damascus and its militia allies, as well as at least seven major rebel groups with over 60,000 fighters among their ranks.

Q:  Which rebel groups exactly?

A:  The Russian Defense Ministry has released a list of the groups that have pledged to stop fighting, which includes Faylaq Al-Sham, Ahrar al-Sham, Jaysh al-Islam, Thuwar al-Sham, Jaysh al-Muwahhideen, Jaysh Idlib and Jabhat al-Shamiyah.

Q:  What are the mechanisms for enforcing the truce?

A:  Yet to be revealed. The three documents detailing the deal were not immediately published.

Q:  What are the repercussions for violators?

A:  According to Russia, those in breach of the agreement will be equated with terrorist groups and will therefore be legitimate targets for the use of force.

Q:  Who has brokered the deal?

A:  Russia, Iran and Turkey. Moscow and Ankara stand as guarantors of the truce, which builds on a previous deal the three nations brokered for Aleppo.

Q:  Will the UN support the truce?

A:  Russia pledged to bring the deal before the UN Security Council for endorsement. The rest is up to the member states.

Q:  Is there a plan for what comes after the truce?

A:  Yes, Syria peace talks are being planned for Astana, Kazakhstan.