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US-Russian ceasefire deal holding in southwest Syria

Other News Materials 10 July 2017 05:46
A U.S.-Russian brokered ceasefire for southwest Syria held through the day, a monitor and rebels said on Sunday
US-Russian ceasefire deal holding in southwest Syria

A U.S.-Russian brokered ceasefire for southwest Syria held through the day, a monitor and rebels said on Sunday, in the first peacemaking effort of the war by the U.S. government under President Donald Trump, Reuters reported.

The United States, Russia and Jordan reached the "de-escalation agreement," which appeared to give Trump a diplomatic achievement at his first meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the G20 summit in Germany this week.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based war monitor, said "calm prevailed" in the southwest since the truce began at noon (0900 GMT) on Sunday despite minor violations.

Combatants briefly exchanged fire in Deraa province and in Quneitra around midnight, but this "did not threaten the ceasefire," said Observatory Director Rami Abdulrahman.

Major Issam al Rayes, spokesman of the Southern Front coalition of Western-backed rebel groups, said "a cautious calm" continued into the evening.

"The situation is relatively calm," Suhaib al-Ruhail, a spokesman for the Alwiyat al-Furqan faction in Quneitra, said earlier.

Another rebel official, in Deraa city, said there had been no significant fighting. It was quiet on the main Manshiya front near the border with Jordan, which he said had been the site of some of the heaviest army bombing in recent weeks.

"Syrian ceasefire seems to be holding ... Good!" Trump tweeted on Sunday.

A Syrian official indicated that Damascus approved of the ceasefire deal, describing the government's silence over it as a "sign of satisfaction."

"We welcome any step that would cease the fire and pave the way for peaceful solutions," the government official told Reuters.

A witness in Deraa said he had not seen warplanes in the sky or heard any fighting since noon.

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