Syria Situation Report: April 27 - May 6, 2016
The U.S. and Russia brokered an agreement to extend a temporary "regime of silence" to Aleppo City for 48 hours beginning on May 5. The agreement follows 10 days of violence in Aleppo City that killed at least 250 people and damaged at least 5 hospitals. Nonetheless, the renewed diplomatic effort to prevent an escalation in Aleppo City and re-institute a nationwide 'cessation of hostilities' faces severe challenges. Syrian President Bashar al-Assad sent a telegram to Russian President Vladimir Putin on May 5 stressing his commitment to achieving a "final victory" against the opposition in Aleppo Province. On the same day, Syrian Al-Qaeda affiliate Jabhat al-Nusra and other hardline factions in the Jaysh al-Fatah Operations Room launched a successful offensive to seize the key town of Khan Touman south of Aleppo City. Forty-two prominent opposition groups previously released a statement on May 1 rejecting any attempts by the U.S. and Russia to broker “regional truces” and warning that “any attack against any liberated area” will be considered a nationwide violation.