After five brutal and unrelenting years of civil war, there may finally be a glimmer of hope for Syria—or what's left of it. After extensive talks in Munich, world powers have agreed upon what they refer to as a "cessation of hostilities" between the regime and rebels that could lead to a lasting ceasefire, reports the BBC. The deal is set to take effect next week in what appears to be a compromise between Russia, which is backing a major Syrian regime offensive and wanted to wait until March 1 for a ceasefire, and the US, which wanted the fighting to stop immediately. The deal announced Friday morning by John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov would mark the first real halt in fighting since the anti-government uprising began, reports the New York Times.
But while a major rebel coalition has welcomed the agreement and humanitarian aid may reach besieged areas in the days to come, diplomats warn that the deal is fragile and may not be worth the paper it's written on, the BBC notes. The only certainty is that the fighting is not going to stop entirely: The deal does not include ISIS or the Nusra Front, which have been designated terrorist organizations, meaning that Russia and the US can continue airstrikes against the groups, per the Los Angeles Times. The Guardian reports that on Thursday night, Saudi officials repeated that they are willing to send ground troops to Syria to fight ISIS, despite the opposition of the regime, Russia, and Iran. (The war has killed or injured more than 10% of Syria's population, according to a new report.)