Syria Truce Takes Effect, Seems to Be Holding

World | February 27, 2016, Saturday // 21:17|  views

A temporary truce in Syria fighting that started at midnight Damascus time (2200 GMT) on Saturday seemed largely to hold, Reuters reported.

Yet, some rebels claimed that there were what they called occasional violations in Hama province on part of government forces.

A Syrian military source has denied the army was violating the agreement for a two-week nationwide cessation of hostilities negotiated by Russia and the United States, which the United Nations has described as the best hope for peace in five years of civil war.

The United Nations Security Council on Friday unanimously adopted a resolution endorsing the truce between the parties in the Syrian conflict, except for terrorist groups, including the Islamic State organization and al Qaeda-linked al-Nusra Front.

The intra-Syrian peace talks between representatives of the Syrian government and opposition, might be reconvened as soon as March 7, if the agreement "largerly holds," the UN Special Envoy for Syria, Staffan de Mistura, told the Security Council before the vote.

Russia has stopped attacks on armed groups included in the temporary truce as part of the agreement, according to a Russian defence ministry official.

Russia's Foreign Ministry said on Saturday that Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry have hailed the start of the truce and discussed ways to intensify coordination between the defense agencies of the two countries on a systematic basis, TASS reported.

Lavrov and Kerry have also discussed “prospects for resumption of an intra-Syrian negotiating process seeking to find a political solution to the conflict with the assistance of the International Syria Support Group,” according to TASS.


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Tags: Syria, truce, Russia, United States, cessation, hostilities, ceasfire, Lavrov, Kerry, terrorist groups, United Nations, UN, peace talks, de Mistura


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