A cessation of hostilities came into effect in Syria under a US-Russian plan on Friday. But due to Russian insistence that the Syrian government and Russian air force be allowed to continue attacks not only against the Islamic State but also the Syrian franchise of al-Qaida, al-Nusra Front, the ceasefire will be carried out only across most areas of western Syria. The current ceasefire could pave the way for peace talks on March 7 in Geneva, which hope to end the nearly five-year-long civil war in the country. The UN is also gearing up for a major humanitarian relief effort.
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