Over 130 killed in Syria ceasefire zones since Feb 27: Report

Published March 5th, 2016 - 04:00 GMT
Syrians ride their motorbike as smoke billows in the background following reported air strikes on the rebel-held village of al-Chifouniya, on the outskirts of the capital Damascus, on March 4, 2016. (AFP/Amer Almohibany)
Syrians ride their motorbike as smoke billows in the background following reported air strikes on the rebel-held village of al-Chifouniya, on the outskirts of the capital Damascus, on March 4, 2016. (AFP/Amer Almohibany)

A total of 135 people have been killed in those areas of Syria where a ceasefire has been in place since February 27, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Saturday.

The cessation of hostilities agreement did not apply to certain areas, where, according to the observatory, over 550 people were killed.

The UK-based group said overall the level of violence has tremendously decreased.

The ceasefire agreement was brokered by the United States and Russia. It does not cover areas of the country that are under Daesh control, as well as thst of the al-Qaeda–affiliated al-Nusra Front.

The Syrian government accepted the terms of the truce on condition that military efforts against Daesh and the al-Nusra, who are excluded from the ceasefire, continue.

Peace talks to continue?

On March 3, UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura said the next round of the peace talks on the conflict in Syria are likely to continue on March 9, which is an approximate date, as some delegations would arrive later.

On Friday, Riad Hijab, the head of the Saudi-backed Syrian opposition High Negotiations Committee (HNC), said conditions were not suitable to resume the talks, claiming that more than 50 militant-held areas in Syria have been targeted during the truce.

Hijab also reiterated the HNC position that there should be no role for President Bashar al-Assad in the future of Syria.

The UN envoy for Syria has said, "Can't we leave the Syrians to actually decide on that? Why should we be saying in advance what the Syrians should say, as long as they have the freedom and the opportunity of saying so?"

According to a February report by the Syrian Center for Policy Research, the conflict in Syria has claimed the lives of over 470,000 people and displaced nearly half of the country’s pre-war population of about 23 million within or beyond its borders since March 2011.

Editor's note: This article has been edited from the source material


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