The colonialist Russia-Turkey imposed Syria “ceasefire” is a disaster, yet at the same time unavoidable at this point. A disaster because of the way that it came about (ie, via defeat, a ceasefire where the cards are stacked against the revolution side, no prisoner releases, no siege endings, expulsion from Aleppo, regime upper hand etc), and because it excludes war against Nusra, giving Assad, Russia and the US (and perhaps Turkey and the YPG) the excuse to make Idlib a legal Kill Zone without “violating the ceasefire.” Even outside of Idlib, does the “ceasefire” mean the regime will end its current savagery in Damascus suburbs? And indeed, we have already seen constant regime violations. Unavoidable because, given the relationship of forces on the ground, Turkey’s obvious betrayal, the Gulf’s complete lack of interest, the continued US-Jordan-imposed freezing of the southern front etc, we need a ceasefire, for the revolutionary forces, both civil and military, to regroup, for the people to breathe etc. I guess the civil movement needs to try to make the most of it while it lasts, as it did earlier this year, bring people into the streets, keep the end of Assad as the target, revive popular committees etc. However, if the regime uses it to continue to massacre in Idlib, East Ghouta etc, then what is the FSA to do? If it doesn’t fight back because the regime is (allegedly) “only bombing Nusra” which is outside the ceasefire, while in fact committing its usual massacre, then this will greatly boost Nusra vis a vis FSA – and, in a sense, rightly so. So the FSA is in a bind.
As for the media pointing out that the US is not part of the ceasefire agreement (only Russia, Turkey, Iran), this seems a moot point (apart from the fact that Putin has made clear the US will be brought into the process when his mate in ultra-right politics, Trump, is inaugurated), as the US is not a belligerent in the main part of the Syrian war. The US role has been to (1) bomb ISIS, (2) bomb Nusra, (3) bomb in favour of the YPG. But the ceasefire doesn’t involve any of these forces or conflicts. Clearly, the “ceasefire” is part of the colonial unofficial soft partition “solution” with Russia, Assad and Iran getting what they want of “useful” and western Syria, Turkey getting its own northern zone (filling it with right-wing Turkish nationalists who believe in Greater Turkey, want to expel Syrian refugees into the zone, but have no quarrel with Assad, while blocking (and not unjustly) the YPG’s irridentist “linking” project, the AKP’s change of policy represented by its current alliance with fascistic Grey Wolves and MHP). But the US has manoevured its way into 3 air bases in YPG-controlled territory, so the large Manbij to Hasake region is effectively a “US-backed” zone anyway; the zone controlled by the Southern Front in Daraa has been converted from a fighting front to a strip protecting the Jordanian border from Daesh; and the prizes are Raqqa and Deir Ezzor in the east: as the US has bombed on Assad’s side for 2 years against ISIS in Deir Ezzor, that will probably go to Assad. Not sure they’ve worked out Raqqa just yet, with so many contenders; for a while probably just another Kill Zone. I suspect the Saudis will want some kind of Sunni entity in the east to expel ISIS in exchange for accepting Assad’s “temporary” rule (according to the Russia-Turkey agreement) and being left out of the process.