Al-Qaeda’s Attempts to Launch Offensive in Syria Endangers Peace Process

In a violation of the Syrian ceasefire, the al-Nusra Front, the al-Qaeda affiliate in Syria, has fired on settlements and Syrian Army positions in Aleppo, Homs, and Latakia.
Fighters from Al-Qaeda's Syrian affiliate Al-Nusra Front drive in armed vehicles in the northern Syrian city of Aleppo as they head to a frontline, on May 26, 2015

Sputnik-Middle East

“Militants from the Jabhat al-Nusra terrorist group continue shelling populated areas and the government forces’ positions in order to disrupt the cessation of hostilities in the regions of Aleppo, Homs and Latakia,” the Russian Defense Ministry wrote on its Facebook page.

Militants were forced to withdraw in Latakia after suffering heavy losses, according to the Russian Defense Ministry.

Seven were killed, with another 27 injured, during the attack in Homs.

Despite these attacks, the Defense Ministry said that most Syrian regions appeared to be observing the ceasefire.

“The ceasefire regime has been observed in most provinces of the Syrian Arab Republic,” the ministry wrote. “Within the last 24 hours, 3 ceasefire violations have been registered in the Latakia province.”

The ceasefire was agreed upon following peace talks in Genevea in February. Both the United States and Russia agreed to act as direct guarantors and monitors.

Earlier on Wednesday, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov expressed concern that al-Nusra Front is endangering the peace process.

“Yes, unfortunately, once again the talks are starting, that the cessation of hostilities is unstable, that there are risks of failure…We, unfortunately, see that in some areas in Syria al-Nusra Front and groups linked to it are on the offensive,” Ryabkov said.

“It is understandable that the government forces cannot avoid responding in these conditions. There is no violation of the ceasefire here.”