United Nations special envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura said ‘a ceasefire brokered by Moscow and Ankara’ was largely holding aside from some exceptions, while noting that humanitarian aid was still not getting to besieged areas. “The focus of the humanitarian discussion we had today on the HTF (Humanitarian Task Force) in Syria was about, one, that the COH (cessation of hostilities) is largely, largely holding with some exceptions, but, in theory that should be giving an opportunity for accelerating humanitarian access to besieged areas. Unfortunately, that’s not the case,” said de Mistura.
Moscow has scheduled a conference aimed to restart the political process between the Syrian government and opposition groups, a conference that is to be held on the 23rd January in Kazakhstan. According to reports, Russian President Vladimir Putin chose that date because it is the first work day for President-elect Donald Trump after his inauguration that will take place on the 20th of January, a fact that would limit any possible American influence over the results of the conference.