“I think the most important [threat to the agreement] is that the Syrian government has not relinquished its goal of recapturing all Syria in the medium- to long-term,” says Robert Ford, a senior fellow at the Middle East Institute in Washington and former ambassador to Damascus.
George Sabra, a Syrian opposition politician, accused the Syrian government of attempting to control the flow of aid to Aleppo and other areas, voicing pessimism that the cease-fire will last.
Despite the cease-fire’s gloomy prospects, a key consideration toward pushing the diplomatic process forward would be to remove Syria’s civilian population from the firing line, says Fred Hof, director of the Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East at the Atlantic Council in Washington.
“It’s hard to get the opposition to go along with something that they suspect and know that the regime will take advantage of to find a military solution to the conflict,” says Andrew Tabler, a Syria expert at the Washington Institute for Near East Peace.
“The US needs to think about two issues if it wants to manage the war – punishing the Assad regime for cessation-of-hostilities violations while not striking Russians. Second, working with neighboring countries to consolidate their spheres of influence into buffer or safe zones,” says Andrew Tabler, a Syria expert at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.
“It’s all down to the US doing something or not…. I think the US clearly is entering a period of 'coma,' or hibernation, with the presidential election,” says Yezid Sayigh, senior associate at the Carnegie Middle East Center in Beirut."