Syria truce holds on first full day
A SYRIA ceasefire billed as the “last chance” for peace appeared to be holding on its first full day yesterday, with residents across the country reporting a quiet night and anxious for aid.
The truce brokered by Russia and the United States saw guns fall silent at sundown on September 12, with the next anticipated step being urgent relief deliveries to desperate civilians.
In second city Aleppo – a key battleground in recent weeks – AFP correspondents in both the rebel-held east and the government-held west reported the night had passed without air strikes or rocket fire.
Residents remained out on the streets until midnight, taking advantage of the lull in fighting to celebrate the first day of the Muslim Eid al-Adha holiday.
Britain-based monitoring group the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the main battlefronts were “completely calm”.
US Secretary of State John Kerry said it was “far too early to draw conclusions” about the success of the ceasefire but urged all sides to seize the opportunity.
“For all the doubts that remain, and there will be challenges in the days to come, this plan has a chance to work,” he said of the deal he agreed with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov. “I urge all to support it because it may be the last chance to save a united Syria.”
The deal foresees the ceasefire being swiftly followed by deliveries of desperately needed aid to civilians who live in besieged areas, in particular the rebel-held east of Aleppo.