Syria Declares 48-Hour Cease-Fire In Daraa
June 17, 2017
The Syrian Army has declared a 48-hour cease-fire in its operations against antigovernment rebels around the southern city of Daraa.
The army said the cease-fire started at 12 p.m. local time on June 17 and described the move as a bid "to support efforts for national reconciliation."
The independent London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the same day that the cease-fire seemed to be holding.
The U.S. State Department issued a statement welcoming the development and calling for the opposition to also enforce a cease-fire so that humanitarian aid can reach civilians.
The Syrian Army and Iran-backed militias have stepped up efforts to capture the rebel-held parts of Daraa in recent weeks.
Also on June 17, the United Nations announced a further round of peace talks between the government and forces fighting against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in Geneva on July 10.
Moscow also announced it hopes to organize another round of talks in the Kazakh capital, Astana, on July 4-5.
The 6-year-old Syrian conflict has left hundreds of thousands dead and driven more than 11 million people from their homes.
Based on reporting by Reuters, AP, and dpa
Copyright (c) 2017. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.
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