News Release

Will U.S. Airstrikes End Syrian Ceasefire Again?


mideast-crisis-syriaAP reports this afternoon: “The U.N.’s special envoy for Syrian peace talks on Monday said a U.S. and Russia-brokered cease-fire in the country’s southwest was generally holding despite some ‘teething problems,’ adding he hoped it would contribute positively to talks between the government and opposition.

“A new round of indirect talks that began Monday is the seventh so far between Syrian government representatives and opposition leaders to try to wind down the battered country’s 6-year-old civil war.”

RAY McGOVERN, rrmcgovern at, @raymcgovern

As a CIA analyst for 27 years, McGovern led the Soviet Foreign Policy Branch and, during President Ronald Reagan’s first term, conducted the early morning briefings with the President’s Daily Brief.

He recently wrote the piece “The Syrian Test of Trump-Putin Accord” for Consortium News, which states: “The immediate prospect for significant improvement in U.S.-Russia relations now depends on something tangible: Will the forces that sabotaged previous ceasefire agreements in Syria succeed in doing so again, all the better to keep alive the ‘regime change’ dreams of the neoconservatives and liberal interventionists? …

“Last fall’s limited ceasefire in Syria, painstakingly worked out over 11 months by Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and approved personally by Presidents Obama and Putin, lasted only five days (from Sept. 12-17) before it was scuttled by ‘coalition’ air strikes on well-known, fixed Syrian army positions, which killed between 64 and 84 Syrian troops and wounded about 100 others.”

McGovern now works with Tell the Word, a publishing arm of the ecumenical Church of the Saviour in inner-city Washington. He serves on the Steering Group of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS).