72 hour ceasefire declared in Syria

Published July 6th, 2016 - 10:27 GMT
The truce was announced as the holy month of Ramadan comes to a close, and Muslims celebrate Eid al-Fitr. (AFP/File)
The truce was announced as the holy month of Ramadan comes to a close, and Muslims celebrate Eid al-Fitr. (AFP/File)

The General Command of the Syrian Army announced in a statement that the truce will enter force as of 1 p.m. local time (1000 GMT) on Wednesday and will be in effect until July 8 midnight.

The development came shortly after Syrian government forces, backed by allied fighters from the Lebanese Hezbollah resistance movement, established control over the village of Maydaa, which is administratively part of the Douma district and lies east of the capital, Damascus.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that the Syrian forces recaptured the strategic village following an intense exchange of fire with members of the so-called Jaysh al-Islam.

The monitoring group further said that scores of extremists were killed and injured in the process, while several others escaped the skirmishes. Syrian soldiers and Hezbollah fighters destroyed a considerable amount of weapons and munitions in the operation.

Maydaa reportedly served as the Jaysh al-Islam's supply line to the militant-held East Ghouta region on the outskirts of Damascus, and was the closest area to Zamir air base, which militants hold east of Damascus.

On Tuesday, an unspecified number of Daesh militants were killed and injured as Syrian military aircraft bombarded a hideout southwest of the ancient city of Palmyra, situated 215 kilometers (133 miles) northeast of Damascus.

Additionally, several pickup trucks that had heavy machine guns mounted on them as well as a number of Daesh fortifications were hit in Syrian army airstrikes against Tall Amri Village in the northeastern province of Homs.

Elsewhere in the southwestern residential area of Daraa al-Balad, Syrian troops struck a hideout of al-Qaeda-affiliated Nusra Front militants, killing most of the extremists inside.

Syria has been gripped by foreign-backed militancy since March 2011. UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura estimates that over 400,000 people have been killed in the conflict. The UN has stopped its official casualty count in Syria, citing its inability to verify the figures it receives from various sources.


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