12:12 GMT +324 September 2019
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    Damascus residents on the streets of the city on the first day of truce

    What 'Plan B'? Syrian Crisis Resolution Has No Viable Alternatives

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    Despite continued warnings about some kind of 'Plan B' for Syria should the current ceasefire deal fail, there may really be no alternative to the initiative already in place.

    Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir has accused Russian and Syrian air forces of violating the ceasefire agreement that came into effect on February 27, and threatened some kind of Plan B "if it became clear that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's government and its allies were not serious about the truce," according to Reuters.

    While the minister didn’t elaborate on the nature of this 'plan B', his statements echo those of the US Secretary of State John Kerry who declared earlier that the White House is looking at additional options in Syria in the event the recently negotiated cessation of hostilities as well as political transition process do not succeed.

    "There is a significant discussion taking place now about a Plan B in the event that we do not succeed at the [negotiating] table," Kerry said.

    However, a growing number of experts remain skeptical about the possibility of any viable Plan B.

    "I think there’s no Plan B," Vitaly Naumkin, Director of the Institute of Oriental Studies at the Russian Academy of Sciences, told RT. "I believe that Kerry’s statement was a threat aimed at all parties involved including Russia: if the Syrian government doesn’t play along, something bad will happen. But the worst thing that can happen is a US military operation on the ground, and I’m absolutely certain that Obama won’t invade anyone."

    He also remarked that the talks about Syria’s partitioning is pure speculation as no Syrians, not even the Syrian Kurds who merely seek a greater autonomy, want their country divided.

    Fyodor Lukyanov, Chairman of the Presidium of the Council on Foreign and Defense Policy, also said that Plan B most likely doesn’t exist.

    "I believe that there is no Plan B. The partitioning of Syria is not Plan B, though it may be caused by the events that transpire in the country now. Even if the ceasefire deal works, restoring peaceful life would also be quite a challenge."

    Russia and the United States reached an agreement on the ceasefire in Syria on February 22. The ceasefire took effect at midnight on Saturday Damascus time (22:00 GMT on Friday).

    The UN Security Council unanimously adopted Resolution 2268 endorsing the Russia-US agreement on the cessation of hostilities in Syria on Friday, shortly before the ceasefire came into force. The cessation of hostilities does not apply to designated terrorist organizations operating in Syria, including Islamic State (IS) and the Nusra Front, a group affiliated with al-Qaeda.

    Related:

    Russian Ceasefire Monitoring Center Launches Daily Bulletin
    Turkey 'Main Violator' of Ceasefire Regime in Syria's North
    Syrian Opposition Await Ceasefire Report Before Deciding on Further Talks
    Tags:
    U.S. Department of State, alternative, ceasefire violation, peace process, ceasefire, truce, Adel Ahmed al-Jubeir, John Kerry, Syria, United States, Saudi Arabia
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