Since it’s February 23, the Fatherland’s Defender Day, it would be appropriate to analyze the initial impact of Russia’s forces in Syria. First of all, Russian aircraft have been in combat for almost five months and secondly, the Syrian campaign is on the threshold of a pause largely thanks to the Russian forces.
On Sunday, February 21, Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and US Secretary of State John Kerry reached a preliminary agreement on a ceasefire in Syria. Commenting on their phone discussions, Kerry said that “the ceasefire is now closer than ever.” The US State Department later disseminated a joint statement which states that Moscow and Washington offered the warring parties in Syria to stop fighting on February 27 at midnight (Damascus time). This ceasefire does not extend to ISIS, Jabhat al-Nusra, and other organizations designated as terrorist by the UN. The statement emphasizes that Russian and Syrian aircraft will stop attacking Syrian opposition during the ceasefire.