The Syrian cessation of hostilities truce is in effect, as of midnight, Saturday, local Syrian time (10:00 p.m. UTC Friday-5:00 p.m. EST Friday).
At the 52nd Munich Security Conference in Germany, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg says that NATO and Russia are "not in a cold-war situation but also not in the partnership that we established at the end of the Cold War" while the Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev says tensions between Russia and NATO have sent the world spiralling into a "new Cold War", blaming U.S. and European leaders for the souring of relations with Russia. He also rejected accusations that Russian warplanes have bombed civilians in Syria, saying it is "just not true".
Syria's political opposition in-exile urges all Arab countries to sever diplomatic ties with Iran. The Turkey-based Syrian National Coalition declared its support for Riyadh's move, calling on "all Arab and Islamic countries to take a similar step", and criticized what it said was Iran's support for Shia militias in Syria and Iraq.
The U.S. Treasury Department sanctions Syrian businessman George Haswani who "serves as a middleman" for oil purchases by the Syrian government from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. His company, an engineering and construction firm, is also sanctioned.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry meets in Vienna, Austria, with the foreign ministers of Turkey and Saudi Arabia, as well as the U.N. special envoy for Syria, ahead of Saturday's next round of international summits on the Syrian Civil War. The talks, aimed toward a cease-fire in Syria's devastating war and a political transition to a post-war government, will include senior officials from 19 nations-groups and, as in October, Iran will participate.
Using social media, Russian investigative bloggers from the Conflict Intelligence Team photo-geolocate three Russian military personnel outside expected air support operations areas — evidence of what the group says may be a broader Russian military role in Syria.
Syrian opposition groups reject a UN-brokered peace plan accepted yesterday in Geneva for a political transition in Syria, arguing that it is ambiguous and a waste of time, and vowing not to negotiate with President Bashar Assad or members of his regime.