"Anything which leads to a cessation of violence is to be welcomed, although it would be a mistake to be optimistic about it. I see this as suspending the situation rather than resolving it. I think that armed groups also feel that way," he said, referring to the recent deal inked by Moscow, Ankara and Tehran at the Syrian peace talks in Astana.
The memorandum is aimed at preventing any clashes between government forces and armed groups in four safe zones, covering northern Idlib province and parts of neighboring Aleppo, Hama and Latakia provinces, as well as the northern part of Homs province, Eastern Ghouta and an area in southern Syria near the border with Jordan. The deal came into force on Saturday.
"The party which is going to take the most advantage out of this is Turkey. Turkey does not have the military strength to confront their ambitions in Syria directly. They have to work through proxies. They work through a lot of jihadi groups. They need to sow the seeds of unrest one way or another. So they will take advantage of this temporary cessation of hostilities to further their agenda politically."
Copley suggested that bringing Ankara on board as a guarantor of a ceasefire in Syria is "a mistake" since Turkey once played a major part in fomenting unrest in the embattled Arab country.
Russia and Turkey have also been the guarantors of a nationwide ceasefire, reached in December following Damascus' victory in Aleppo.
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