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Salafi armed groups increase attacks in Syria

UN Syria envoy Staffan de Mistura warns that the cessation of hostilities is in “great trouble.”
Civil defence members rest amid rubble of damaged buildings after an airstrike on the rebel-held Tariq al-Bab neighbourhood of Aleppo, Syria April 23, 2016. REUTERS/Abdalrhman Ismail      TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY      - RTX2BBAO

UN Syria envoy Staffan de Mistura said April 22 that the cessation of hostilities that began Feb. 26 “is still in effect. None of the sides have renounced to it. … But it is in great trouble if we do not act quickly.”

Speaking in London the same day, US President Barack Obama said that the cessation of hostilities is “fraying,” adding that although he has “always been skeptical about Mr. [Russian President Vladimir] Putin’s actions and motives inside of Syria … we are going to play this option out. If, in fact, the cessation falls apart, we’ll try to put it back together again even as we continue to go after ISIL [Islamic State].” The day before, in remarks in Riyadh with Saudi King Salman bin Abdul-Aziz Al Saud, Obama said, “The cessation of hostilities is obviously under tremendous strain, including continued violations by the [Bashar al-] Assad regime. This violence is yet another reminder that there’s only one way to end this civil war, as our GCC [Gulf Cooperation Council] partners agree — a transitional governing body, a new constitution with free elections, including a transition away from Assad.” 

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