UK Says Syria Truce Needs 'Major Change of Behavior' by Regime, Russia


The Syrian ceasefire announced by the United States and Russia will only work if there is a "major change of behavior" by the Syrian regime and Russia, British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said on Monday.

"It will only succeed if there is a major change of behavior by the Syrian regime and its backers," he said. "Russia, in particular, must honor this agreement by ending its attacks on Syrian civilians and moderate opposition groups."

The United States and Russia announced the "cessation of hostilities" on Monday, indicating it would come into effect on Saturday 27.

It excludes militants from the Islamic State, Nusra Front and other groups the United Nations Security Council deems terrorist entities.

Hammond welcomed the deal but said Russia needs to demonstrate its compliance "by clearly only targeting Daesh (IS) and those recognized as terrorists by the international community."

He added that the deal was an "important step towards reducing the horrendous levels of violence in Syria."

Hammond said he hoped a ceasefire would enable political negotiations "to re-start in earnest" and deliver a political transition "away from Assad, to a government in Damascus that can represent all Syrians."

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