Syria fighting largely halts as ceasefire goes into effect
Fighting appeared to stop across most areas of western Syria on Saturday after a cessation of hostilities came into effect under a U.S.-Russian plan which warring sides in the five-year conflict have committed to.
A monitoring group and the United Nations reported only isolated fire in western Syria after the cessation began at midnight on Saturday (2200 GMT Friday). The United Nations said incidents in Damascus and Deraa within the first minutes of the temporary ceasefire had quickly calmed down.
Shortly after midnight, there was calm in many parts of the country, Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.
“In Damascus and its countryside… for the first time in years, calm prevails,” its director Rami Abdulrahman said.
“In Latakia, calm, and at the Hmeimim air base there is no plane activity,” he said in reference to the Latakia base where Russia’s warplanes operate from.
The United Nations Security Council on Friday unanimously demanded that all parties to the civil war in Syria comply with the terms of a U.S.-Russian deal on a “cessation of hostilities.”
The demand was included in a resolution drafted jointly by Russia and the United States that also urged the government and opposition to resume U.N.-brokered peace talks.
Before the 15-nation council voted, U.N. Syria mediator Staffan de Mistura told its members via video link from Geneva that he intends to reconvene peace talks on March 7 provided the halt in fighting largely holds and allows for greater delivery of humanitarian relief. Read More