Wednesday, October 16, 2019
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SYRIA CEASEFIRE STILL HOLDING FOR SECOND DAY, DESPITE FEW BREACHES

DAMASCUS, Syria, Calm prevailed in most Syrian cities on Saturday, since a nationwide ceasefire was activated at midnight Friday, despite some clashes, a monitor group reported.

The ceasefire, which was reached by Turkey and Russia, and earned the compliance of the Syrian government and most rebel groups, was still holding on Saturday, said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

Still, the UK-based watchdog group said that clashes took place in the Wadi Barada area, north-west of the capital Damascus, as part of an ongoing military showdown for that strategic area, which contains the main spring, feeding the capital with drinking water.

The rebels have cut off the water supply from the capital since Dec 22, to force the Syrian army into halting the offensive on that area.

The Observatory said, clashes were also reported in the southern provinces of Daraa and Qunaitera, without spelling details on casualties.

Meanwhile, a well-informed source said that, the battles in Wadi Barada stopped on Saturday evening, amid speculations that a deal could be struck soon, for the evacuation of rebels from that area and the return of the army control over the spring, to resume the water pumping into the capital.

Also, a military source said that, the rebels in the north-western province of Idlib fired 25 rockets on the Shiite towns of Kafraya and Foa, in the countryside of that province, adding that, the attack is a violation to the ceasefire.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, the source said, the rebels also fired rockets on a Syrian air defence battalion, south-west of the northern city of Aleppo.

The recent ceasefire is the third to take place in Syria, after two previous failing ones, the first of which was last Feb, which lasted for three months before collapsing, and the second was established in Sept and lasted only for a week.

The Syrian army said in a statement that, the war on the Daesh and the Nusra Front and their allied militants would continue.

Syrian Foreign Minister, Walid al-Moallem, said in an interview that, the new ceasefire is more promising than its predecessors, as the Russian guarantees were stronger.

"We trust the Russian guarantor," he said, adding that, the new ceasefire constitutes a chance for establishing a political solution and bring the bloodletting to a curb in Syria.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK