Saudi official charges Russia, Assad regime violated Syria ceasefire

Special to WorldTribune.com

The Saudi foreign minister on Feb. 28 said the Assad regime and Russia have violated the truce in Syria.

Adel al-Jubeir, speaking at a joint news conference with visiting Danish Foreign Minister Kristian Jensen in Riyadh, said there would be a “plan B” if it became clear that Syrian President Bashar Assad’s government and its allies were not serious about the ceasefire.

Syrians await humanitarian aid at the Yarmouk refugee camp. /United Nation Relief and Works Agency via Getty Images
Syrians await humanitarian aid at the Yarmouk refugee camp. /United Nation Relief and Works Agency via Getty Images

“I believe that abiding by the truce would be an important indicator of the seriousness to reach a peaceful solution to the Syrian crisis that would include setting up a transitional authority and the transfer of power,” Jubeir said. “There is no place for Bashar in Syria.”

A spokesman for the Saudi-backed opposition High Negotiations Committee (HNC) said the truce was broken by Syrian government forces 15 times in the first day, and that there were further violations by Russia and Hizbullah.

Asaad al-Zoubi, head of the HNC’s delegation to peace talks, said the ceasefire had collapsed from the outset and it faced “complete nullification,” Al Arabiya al Hadath TV reported.

French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault told reporters at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva that “we have received indications that attacks, including by air, have been continuing against zones controlled by the moderate opposition.”

“All this needs to be verified. France has therefore demanded that the task force charged with overseeing the cessation of hostilities meet without delay.”

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