Syria strikes hit near Da­m­as­cus de­spite cease­fire: Mon­i­tor

Muscat Daily - - WORLD -

Beirut, Le­banon - Syria’s regime car­ried out air raids on one of the last rebel strongholds near Da­m­as­cus on Sun­day, a mon­i­tor said, a day af­ter it de­clared a cease­fire in parts of the be­sieged en­clave.

The Syr­ian army on Satur­day an­nounced a halt in fight­ing for parts of East­ern Ghouta, a re­bel­held re­gion on the out­skirts of the cap­i­tal that has been rav­aged in the six-year con­flict.

‘Regime war­planes tar­geted the area of Ain Terma with at least six strikes since early morn­ing, and two raids were car­ried out on and around the city of Douma,’ the Syr­ian Ob­ser­va­tory for Hu­man Rights mon­i­tor­ing group said.

The Bri­tain-based mon­i­tor did not re­port any ca­su­al­ties.

Regime shelling also hit the out­skirts of the town of Jis­reen on Sun­day, the Ob­ser­va­tory said, af­ter regime ar­tillery and rocket fire on ar­eas in­clud­ing Ain Terma and the town of Harasta on Satur­day af­ter the cease­fire started.

Pres­i­dent Bashar As­sad’s forces have sur­rounded the East­ern Ghouta re­gion for more than four years, and regime forces have reg­u­larly tar­geted the area.

As­sad’s forces have for weeks been fight­ing rebels on the out- skirts of Ain Terma, which links East­ern Ghouta to op­po­si­tion­held parts of the Da­m­as­cus district of Jo­bar.

Ob­ser­va­tory head Rami Ab­del Rah­man said no ex­trem­ist forces were present in the ar­eas tar­geted by regime bom­bard­ment.

The army an­nounced a halt in fight­ing in ar­eas of East­ern Ghouta on Satur­day from mid­day lo­cal time, but did not say which ar­eas ex­actly would be in­cluded.

The cease­fire an­nounce­ment came af­ter regime ally Rus­sia said it had reached a deal with ‘mod­er­ate’ rebels on the bound­aries and polic­ing of the safe zone.

It said the sides had also agreed ‘routes to sup­ply hu­man­i­tar­ian aid to the pop­u­la­tion and for free move­ment of res­i­dents’.

But no rebel group yield­ing in­flu­ence in East­ern Ghouta said they had signed that agree­ment.

The rebel en­clave is in one of four pro­posed ‘de-es­ca­la­tion zones’ des­ig­nated in a deal reached by gov­ern­ment al­lies Iran and Rus­sia and rebel backer Turkey in May.

But the ac­cord has yet to be fully im­ple­mented over dis­agree­ments on polic­ing the safe zones.

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