By Juan Cole
Whether or not the cessation of hostilities in Syria holds, it is a major turning point in the revolution and civil war that began in 2011. As of Saturday morning in Syria, the major fronts between the regime and the Muslim Brotherhood factions were quiet.
There continued to be some fighting between the Syrian Arab Army of dictator Bashar al-Assad and al-Qaeda in the north of Latakia, and between government forces and Daesh (ISIS, ISIL) southeast of Aleppo. Those two groups were excluded by Russia and Syria from the ceasefire, and they themselves denounced it, so fighting with them will continue. Likewise, the besieged towns of Madaya and Zabadani, where the regime has starved out civilians as well as militants, will continue to be attacked, according to Damascus, because a significant portion of their armed guerrillas are Syrian al-Qaeda (the Nusra Front).