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SYRIA: CEASE-FIRE REACHED IN WATER-RICH TOWN NEAR DAMASCUS

DAMASCUS, A cease-fire has been reached in the water-rich town of Wadi Barada northwest of the capital Damascus on Friday, a military source said.

The cease-fire in Wadi Barada, or Barada Vally, the main water source for the capital, is temporary as it will last only for hours, but it includes all of the armed factions in that area, said the source on condition of anonymity.

Wadi Barada contains the Ain al-Fijah springs, the main water source for Damascus' over five million inhabitants.

The area wasn't part of the a Turkish-Russian sponsored cease-fire that went into force last Friday, as the area is largely controlled by the al-Qaida-linked Nusra Front, which is designated as a terrorist group, and thus excluded from any settlement in Syria.

However, the Nusra fighters there have cut off the water from Damascus since Dec. 22, causing a massive water outage in Damascus, amid recent reports that water poisoning cases started to surface as people have resorted to unclean water.

The government forces unleashed a major offensive for the recapture of Wadi Barada in order to strip the rebels from the "water weapon" and fix the equipment of Ain al-Fijah, which has sustained considerable damage during the recent showdown.

Meanwhile, the pan-Arab al-Mayadeen TV said that a Russian delegation entered Wadi Barada to arrange for a settlement to the crisis there.

The report also said that the Syrian army controlled a high hilltop overlooking several villages in the Wadi Barada ahead of the cease-fire declaration.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK