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How the Aleppo liberation made way for peace in Syria

The Syrian crisis approaches a decisive moment. According to a Syrian political expert Abbas Juma, the liberation of Aleppo, which was officially declared by the Syrian army on December 12, became a starting point for strengthening the Turkey-Russia-Iran cooperation, uniting their efforts to give a new impulse to the settlement of the Syrian crisis.

This trilateral cooperation made possible an extremely important truce between the Syrian government and armed opposition. On December 30, under the mediation of Turkey and Russia, Damascus and opposition groups managed to reach a ceasefire agreement which covers the whole country.

Both sides signed three documents: a ceasefire agreement, a set of measures for ceasefire monitoring, and a statement of readiness to start peace talks. Though the Syrian authorities admit that these agreements are very fragile, they remain vital for people who are exhausted of fear and war.

The majority of the most influential armed groups, such as The Faylaq al-Sham, Jaysh al-Islam, Jaysh al-Mujahideen, Thuwar Ahl al-Sham, Jaysh Idlib al-Hur, Jabhat al-Shamiyah, have also joined the ceasefire.

The readiness of the armed opposition to engage in a dialogue set in motion preparations for the meeting in Astana, where the representatives of the government will hold direct talks with the opposition delegation. The discussion will concentrate on the stabilization of the truce, improving the humanitarian situation and adoption of measures for strengthening mutual confidence, including prisoner exchange.

At the same time, the ceasefire and planning of the Syrian peace talks in Astana became possible only after the confident victory of the Syrian army in Aleppo. It was the Aleppo victory that forced the opposition and its sponsors, as well as the entire international community to recognize that the Syrian conflict could only be solved through dialogue and political compromise.

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