"And I have found both freedom and safety in my madness, the freedom of loneliness and the safety from being understood, for those who understand us enslave something in us. But let me not be too proud of my safety. Even a Thief in a jail is safe from another thief. "

Khalil Gibran (How I Became a Madman)

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NEWS AND ARTICLES / HABERLER VE MAKALELER

Friday, December 30, 2016

Clashes, air raids tarnish Russia and Turkey's Syria truce- Reuters

Clashes, shelling and air raids in western Syria marred a Russian- and Turkish-backed ceasefire that aims to end nearly six years of war and lead to peace talks between rebels and a government emboldened by recent battlefield success.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, a key ally of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, announced the ceasefire on Thursday after forging the agreement with Turkey, a longtime backer of the opposition.

The truce went into force at midnight but monitors and rebels reported almost immediate clashes, and violence appeared to escalate later on Friday as warplanes bombed areas in the country's northwest, they said.

Asaad Hanna, a political officer in the Free Syrian Army (FSA), a loose alliance of insurgent groups, told Reuters violence had reduced but had not stopped.

"We cannot be optimistic about someone like the Russians who used to kill us for six years ... they are not angels. But we are happy because we are reducing the violence and working to find a solution for the current situation," said Hanna.

The ceasefire is meant as a first step toward fresh peace talks, after several failed international efforts this year to halt the conflict, which began as a peaceful uprising and descended into war in 2011.