DAMASCUS, Syria, The first few hours of the cease-fire in Syria’s northwestern province of Idlib passed quietly, Saturday, a war monitor reported.

Cautious calm prevailed in the cease-fire zone, after the truce went into effect at 06:00 a.m. local time (0300 GMT) Saturday, said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

A day earlier, the Syrian army agreed to observe a cease-fire in Idlib, the last major rebel stronghold in the country, as of Saturday morning, state TV reported.

Citing the Syrian army, the TV report said, the army reserves the right to respond to any violation.

Hours ahead of the official Syrian announcement, Russia’s Defence Ministry declared the cease-fire, noting that, it is a unilateral move to stabilise the situation in Idlib. It urged the rebels to abandon armed provocations and join the peace process.

This is the second truce announced in Idlib this month. On Aug 1, a Russian- and Turkish-backed cease-fire was reached but it quickly collapsed.

Since then, battles flared and the Syrian government forces were able to make notable gains, capturing key areas in the southern countryside of Idlib and the adjacent northern countryside of Hama province.

The new cease-fire aims at halting the fighting in Idlib between Syrian army and the al-Qaeda-linked groups.

The countryside of Hama and the adjacent Idlib province are included in the deescalation zone, established by Russia and Turkey last Sept.

Under the deal, Turkish observation points were set up in some areas in Idlib and Hama. However, the deal failed to materialise as the Nusra Front refused to withdraw and fighting continued.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK

syrianewsgazette.comGeneral
DAMASCUS, Syria, The first few hours of the cease-fire in Syria's northwestern province of Idlib passed quietly, Saturday, a war monitor reported.Cautious calm prevailed in the cease-fire zone, after the truce went into effect at 06:00 a.m. local time (0300 GMT) Saturday, said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.A...