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US-Russia agree truce deal for Syria but doubts persist

Syrian volunteers take part in paramilitary training conducted by the Syrian army in al-Qtaifeh, north of Damascus on February 22, 2016The United States and Russia have announced plans for a partial truce in Syria but there were serious doubts it could take effect on Saturday as planned. The agreement does not apply to jihadists like the Islamic State group and the Al-Nusra Front, putting up major hurdles to how it can be implemented on Syria’s complex battlefield. It calls for President Bashar al-Assad and opposition forces to agree by noon on Friday to comply with a “cessation of hostilities” that would then take effect at midnight.

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