الإثنين , يونيو 8 2020

Ceasefire in place for Syrian towns

Syrian Arab News Agency image shows Syrian army soldiers during a artillery operations in Zabadani. 9 July 2015

The Syrian army and Hezbollah have been battling rebels in Zabadani for weeks

Rebel groups and pro-government forces have agreed a 48-hour ceasefire in three Syrian towns, activists say.

The ceasefire began at 03:00GMT in rebel-held Zabadani, near the Lebanese border, and in Fuaa and Kafraya in Idlib province, under army control, Hezbollah’s al-Manar TV says.

The deal was reportedly agreed between rebels allied to al-Nusra Front and the Lebanon-based Hezbollah group.

Hezbollah is an ally of Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad.

“A ceasefire began at 6am today for 48 hours to halt military operations in Zabadani,” al-Manar reported on Wednesday morning.

“It also includes the two villages of al-Fuaa and Kafraya in the Idlib countryside.”

Local ceasefires have occasionally been brokered to allow food and medical aid into besieged areas.

Activist group the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said negotiations were also taking place on the possible withdrawal of all rebel fighters from Zabadani, as well as a halt to the siege of Fuaa and Kafraya and the delivery of aid.

Insurgent group Ahrar al-Sham, an ally of al-Nusra Front, was said to be leading negotiations from the rebels’ side.

Earlier, rebel forces were reported to have advanced to the edge of the north-western region that is the heartland of President Bashar al-Assad’s Alawite sect.

A military source said government troops had taken up new defensive positions in the Sahl al-Ghab plain.

Last month, President Assad acknowledged the Syrian army was facing a shortage of troops and had withdrawn from some areas.

The uprising against President Assad began in 2011 and has claimed more than 230,000 lives.

About 11.5 million people – more than half of the country’s population – have fled their homes.

شاهد أيضاً

COPTIC SOLIDARITY LAUNCHES URGENT CALL TO END CRIME OF FORCED DISAPPEARANCE OF COPTIC WOMEN IN EGYPT

A Coptic woman, Ranya Abd al-Masih (“servant of Christ”), 39, disappeared in Egypt on April 22, 2020, …