U.S., Russia Agree on Cease-Fire for Syria

Daily News Article - February 24, 2016

Questions

NOTE TO STUDENTS: This is a complicated story. As you read, circle the names of people (officials, leaders, experts) and dates. Underline or highlight key words and phrases. When you read it a second time, you can easily see which points you identified as important. After reading this article, you will know more than most people about why establishing peace in Syria is so challenging.

1. a) When will the U.S.-Russia brokered ceasefire in Syria take effect?
b) What still needs to happen for the deal to take effect?
c) By what date must the two sides formally accept the plan?

2. What groups are not covered in the ceasefire agreement?

3. What issues must still be addressed? (see para. 3)

4. a) What is the purpose of the ceasefire? (see para. 4)
b) Why had the first round of talks collapsed earlier this month?

5. What did Russian President Vladimir Putin say about the agreement and what Russia and the U.S. have to do?

6. Why will this ceasefire be so hard to maintain? (see para. 13)

7. Secretary Kerry said the cessation could lead to less violence, expanded humanitarian deliveries and help support the US goal of a “political transition to a government that is responsive to the desires of the Syrian people.” What is the biggest stumbling block to a sustained peace?

8. What will happen after both sides formally accept the plan?

CHALLENGE: Read “Syria: The Story of Conflict” by BBC News for more background on the Syrian war.
List 5 facts that you think are most important to understanding this conflict.