Syrian ceasefire upheld in most of the country, says war monitor

Cairo, Dec 31 (IANS) The ceasefire that came into effect in Syria at midnight has been upheld in most of the country, a British war monitor told EFE on Friday.

Rami Abdulrahman, Director of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, said the ceasefire between forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad and opposition groups was being respected in around 90 per cent of the areas included in the deal.

According to the Observatory, a man was killed by a sniper in the rebel-held eastern Ghouta areas of Damascus making him the first death since the ceasefire came into effect.

The Observatory registered a few other violations of the ceasefire by rebels in the southern province of Daraa and by government forces in the Damascus, Hama and Idlib regions.

In the Christian-majority town of Khabab, in northern Daraa and under government control, several people were injured by mortar fire launched by rebel groups.

The SOHR also informed of Syrian Army bombings against areas in the north of Hama province, in the south of Aleppo and in the Barada river valley in Damascus.

The ceasefire agreement, hammered out between Russia and Turkey, was backed by the Syrian Army’s General Command, the Syrian Armed Forces and rebel factions.

The deal aims to lead the way towards a new round of peace talks, scheduled to begin towards the end of January 2017 in Astana, the capital of Kazakhstan.

–IANS

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