Stop Falling for Assad’s Bogus Ceasefires:

syria.chathamhouse.org

Great summary of the nature of de-escalation zones, ceasefires, cessation of hostilities and so on. The author identifies three key characteristics. 

1. The Assad regime lacks manpower. Ceasefires allow the regime to redeploy troops for certain offensives while freezing the fronts elsewhere.

2. In many cases, ceasefires have tightened sieges and weakened the military capabilities of the local opposition groups. 

3. Ceasefires let the international community think that there is some kind of political progress. That releases the pressure on the Assad regime.

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