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Forces agree to ceasefire in Syria

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad announced on Tuesday that he will accept an agreement of ceasefire in Syria made between Russia and the U.S. on Monday.

Concerns remain as two of the most extremist forces, the Islamic State and al-Nusra font, are not a part of the deal.

Dalia Gonzalez, senior family and human services major, said she has a deep interest in serving Syrians.

“This is a good first step towards finding solutions,” Gonzalez said. “I do not think this  agreement will necessarily end the war or bring lasting peace, but it is a necessary step.”

The agreement seeks a cessation of hostilities between both sides who fight in favor of the rebels or Assad, and provides aid to besieged places in Syria.

Sarah Hill, Student Ministries Leadership Team outreach director, worked last semester doing research and raising awareness about Syria, including organizing the Stories from Syria event.

“There are so many people trapped in these war-ridden cities, and an agreement like this could save their lives,” Hill said.

Even though the countries decided to meet, the diplomatic meeting could not take place as fighting continued in Syria. The U.S. Secretary of State, John Kerry, urged Russia’s Foreign Minister to agree to the ceasefire in a phone conversation, according to Aljazeera, a news broadcaster in Qatar, on Saturday.

Syrian opposition groups expressed they would agree only if Assad and his allies respect some conditions such as the lifting of sieges, prisoner releases and ID access permitted across the country.

Something that concerns participants in the agreement is the challenge that all the parties will honor their words and implement them in reality, according to CNN.

“If one side doesn’t uphold their end, I do think that future agreements would be much harder to achieve,” Hill said.

Junior political science major, Bradley Herschend, expressed that it is necessary that the involved countries trust each other in order to resolve the conflict.

“Without willingness for cooperation that stems from a base level of trust, it will be impossible to work together in a unified effort,” Herschend said.