Fighting mostly stopped across western and northern Syria on Saturday and Russia halted its air raids, under a cessation of hostilities which the United Nations called the best hope for peace since civil war began five years ago. Nathan Frandino reports.
It's a new day in Idlib, Syria, where a fragile ceasefire appears to be holding. The streets are bustling as residents try to take advantage of the rare calm. Though volunteer traffic controller Abu Ahmad does not expect the peace to last. (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) ABU AHMAD, MEMBER OF JAISH AL FATAH (THE CONQUEST ARMY), VOLUNTEER TRAFFIC CONTROLLER, SAYING: "The ceasefire serves Assad and Russia's interests first and foremost, and the people are the ones who will suffer, and this is what we see on the ground. We don't need the media to tell us this will fail, it has already failed." The U.S.-Russia deal stipulates that fighting should cease so aid can reach civilians. President Bashar al-Assad and many of his enemies have accepted the terms. Russian defense ministry officials say they've halted air strikes in the country for the day to avoid bombing the wrong targets. Parts of the country have seen some fighting, including with Islamic State, which did not agree to the deal. In the Damascus suburb of Jobar, where evidence of the bloody war sits on street corners, residents are optimistic. (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) NAELAH, SYRIAN CITIZEN, SAYING: "It is the first step towards the political solution." The deal is the first of its kind to be attempted in four years, and if it holds, would be the most successful truce of the war so far.