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UN: ‘Cessation of hostilities’ in Syria holding
February 27, 2016, 6:26 pm

Syrian soldiers walk through territory seized from Islamist extremists in the town of Daraya, which does not fall under the ceasefire deal [Xinhua]

Syrian soldiers walk through territory seized from Islamist extremists in the town of Daraya, which does not fall under the ceasefire deal [Xinhua]


Russia says it has suspended all military operations over the skies of Syria as the first full day of a cessation of hostilities agreement went into effect.

The United Nations Security Council unanimously endorsed the American-Russian deal late on Friday night.

United Nations sources said that all warring parties who had agreed to the ceasefire appeared to have silenced their guns.

But the deal brokered between Moscow and Washington allows Russia to strike at Islamic State and Al Nusra Front targets.

Both groups said they would intensify their attacks against Syrian government forces.

On Saturday, government media reported that ISIL fighters carried out two suicide bombing attacks in cities in central and north eastern Syria.

Kurdish sources said that ISIL had launched a series of attacks against their positions in the eastern town of Tal Abyad.

Nevertheless, this decreased fighting between the government and the main opposition militias is the first of its kind since the Syrian civil war began five years ago.

UN envoy to Syria Staffan de Mistura has been in favor of the deal and has said it provided room for optimism.

“Let’s pray that this works because frankly this is the best opportunity we can imagine the Syrian people has had for the last five years in order to see something better and hopefully something related to peace,” he said at a news conference in Geneva just as the ceasefire began.

De Mistura hopes that the break in fighting will last and lead to formal peace negotiations on March 8.

He later said that he had been reassured that “the first night and first day certainly gave the impression that everyone is serious in their commitment to keep on going with this cessation of hostilities”.

He acknowledged reports of low-intensity ceasefire violations claimed by both sides.

He said that a special Russian-US taskforce will meet in Geneva to monitor violations of the agreement.

More on the Syrian crisis

The BRICS Post with inputs from Agencieas

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