Regime agrees to Syria peace deal but doubts persist

A Syrian soldier guards a checkpoint on the outskirts of Raqa, on February 19, 2016Syria’s regime agreed Tuesday to a ceasefire deal announced by the United States and Russia, but there were widespread doubts it could take effect by the weekend as hoped. The agreement, announced Monday, does not apply to jihadists like the Islamic State group and Al-Nusra Front, putting up major hurdles to how it can be implemented on Syria’s complex battlefield. The deal calls for a “cessation of hostilities” between forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad and opposition groups that would take effect overnight Friday-Saturday in Damascus.

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