Syria truce brings ‘significant drop’ in fighting

September 14, 2016 | By | Reply More

Sep 14, – The truce brokered by Russia and the United States began at sundown on Monday, in the latest bid to end a conflict that has killed more than 300,000 people since March 2011.

syria-truce-brings-significant-drop-in-fightingThe UN’s Syria envoy applauded a “significant drop” in violence through the first 24 hours of a fragile ceasefire but said security concerns meant aid convoys stayed on hold.

The agreement aims to bring an end to fighting between President Bashar al-Assad’s loyalists and a wide range of rebels but excludes jihadist forces like the Islamic State (IS) group.

UN envoy Staffan de Mistura said reports reaching his office indicated “a significant drop in violence”, in a rare respite in Syria’s devastating conflict.

De Mistura noted isolated reports of conflict persisted, especially on Monday night, but that by sunrise on Tuesday the broad picture was positive.

The envoy said he had “no information about any UN trucks moving at this stage”, demanding “assurances that the drivers and the convoy will be unhindered and untouched”.

In second city Aleppo, AFP correspondents in both the rebel-held east and the government-held west reported nearly 24 hours had passed without air strikes or rocket fire.

AFP correspondents in government-held Damascus and its rebel-controlled suburbs reported quiet too, with residents taking advantage of the lull in violence to mark the Eid al-Adha Muslim holiday.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported minor violations by both government and rebel forces in different parts of the country, but no deaths.

However, the truce did not prevent heavy fighting between regime forces and the jihadist Jund al-Aqsa faction in Hama province of central Syria, the monitoring group said.

Damascus accused the opposition of a series of violations, with its ally Moscow saying Syrian government forces were fully respecting the truce but that rebels had violated it 23 times.

“Syrian government troops have completely stopped firing” except in jihadist-held areas, but “the same cannot be said for armed units of the moderate opposition controlled by the US”, said Viktor Poznikhir, a senior Russian military officer.

Press journalist for HRO media – Khizer Hayat reports.

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Category: Arab uprising

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