Almost three months since the Kofi Annan-brokered ceasefire agreement went into effect in Syria, it has virtually collapsed. The unarmed United Nations team has suspended its monitoring trips because of fighting in most of the cities they were required to visit.
From the start most players inside and outside the country paid little more than lip service to the ceasefire agreement. Violations were constant and severe, and in early June the Free Syrian Army, the main rebel force, said they no longer felt bound to observe a ceasefire. The Syrian government has not made a similar declaration but it always said it would reserve the right to respond to attacks. Its forces have shelled opposition strongholds on a regular basis.
Although the ceasefire initially reduced the rate of killing by a small degree, the toll of dead and injured still amounts to several hundreds per week.
What are the potential scenarios for the next twelve months, and can anything be done to improve compliance, reach a genuine ceasefire and start a process of political dialogue?