Syria: Faylaq Al-Rahman Joins Ghouta Truce

A Syrian fighter from Faylaq al-Rahman fires a weapon in Ain Terma, in Eastern Ghouta, a rebel stronghold east of the capital Damascus, July 17, 2017. AFP/ABDULMONAM EASSA
A Syrian fighter from Faylaq al-Rahman fires a weapon in Ain Terma, in Eastern Ghouta, a rebel stronghold east of the capital Damascus, July 17, 2017. AFP/ABDULMONAM EASSA
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Syria: Faylaq Al-Rahman Joins Ghouta Truce

A Syrian fighter from Faylaq al-Rahman fires a weapon in Ain Terma, in Eastern Ghouta, a rebel stronghold east of the capital Damascus, July 17, 2017. AFP/ABDULMONAM EASSA
A Syrian fighter from Faylaq al-Rahman fires a weapon in Ain Terma, in Eastern Ghouta, a rebel stronghold east of the capital Damascus, July 17, 2017. AFP/ABDULMONAM EASSA

Beirut- Faylaq Al-Rahman accepted on Friday to join the de-escalation agreement in the eastern suburbs of Damascus after signing a deal with Russia to halt hostilities as of 9 pm and to lift the siege of eastern Ghouta.

“Following three days of negotiations with the Russian side, an agreement was signed to stop fighting as of 18/8/2017 at 21:00 Damascus time,” the group, one of the largest factions operating under the Free Army in Jobar and Ghouta, said in a statement.

It said the ceasefire deal includes lifting the siege of eastern Ghouta

Russia’s Defense Ministry confirmed on Friday signing a deal with Faylaq al-Rahman in the de-escalation zone of eastern Ghouta province.

A statement issued by the ministry said the deal was signed in Geneva, adding that the opposition group would refrain from launching attacks against diplomatic missions in Damascus, including the Russian embassy.  

The de-escalation zone in Eastern Ghouta is one of four zones of a plan approved in May by Russia, Turkey and Iran to stipulate a cessation of hostilities over designated areas.

Details of the de-escalation agreement would be announced in a press conference scheduled for next Monday.

“We promise the Syrian people to protect the principles of the Revolution in all our political works and military confrontations, until we see a free and dignified Syria,” the Faylaq said in the statement.

Separately, regime forces controlled on Friday four new gas fields and tightened the grip on ISIS militants in the center of the eastern desert.

As a response, ISIS militants launched a counter-attack while battles raged between the two sides on Friday night at the crossing of Maksar al-Hissan and Jab al-Jarah in the countryside of eastern Homs, leaving a number of casualties on both sides.



Israeli Tanks at Edge of Rafah's Mawasi Refuge Zone

A man walks across  fallen tents the day after a strike on the al-Mawasi area, northwest of the Palestinian city of Rafah on June 22, 2024.  (Photo by Bashar TALEB / AFP)
A man walks across fallen tents the day after a strike on the al-Mawasi area, northwest of the Palestinian city of Rafah on June 22, 2024. (Photo by Bashar TALEB / AFP)
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Israeli Tanks at Edge of Rafah's Mawasi Refuge Zone

A man walks across  fallen tents the day after a strike on the al-Mawasi area, northwest of the Palestinian city of Rafah on June 22, 2024.  (Photo by Bashar TALEB / AFP)
A man walks across fallen tents the day after a strike on the al-Mawasi area, northwest of the Palestinian city of Rafah on June 22, 2024. (Photo by Bashar TALEB / AFP)

Israeli tanks advanced to the edge of the Mawasi displaced persons' camp in the northwest of the southern Gaza city of Rafah on Sunday in fierce fighting with Hamas-led fighters, residents said.
Images of two Israeli tanks stationed on a hilltop overlooking the coastal area went viral on social media, but Reuters could not independently verify them.

"The fighting with the resistance has been intense. The occupation forces are overlooking the Mawasi area now, which forced families there to head for Khan Younis," said one resident, who asked not to be named, on a chat app.

More than eight months into Israel's war in the Hamas-administered Palestinian enclave, its advance is focused on the two areas its forces have yet to seize: Rafah on Gaza's southern tip and the area surrounding Deir al-Balah in the center.

Residents said Israeli tanks had pushed deeper into western and northern Rafah in recent days, blowing up dozens of houses.

The Israeli military said it was continuing "intelligence-based, targeted operations" in the Rafah area and had located weapons stores and tunnel shafts, and killed Palestinian gunmen.

The armed wings of Hamas and the Islamic Jihad movement said their fighters had attacked Israeli forces in Rafah with anti-tank rockets and mortar bombs and pre-planted explosive devices.

Elsewhere, an Israeli airstrike killed eight Palestinians in Sabra, a suburb of Gaza City in the north, and another strike killed two people in Nuseirat in central Gaza.

The military said it had struck dozens of targets throughout the Strip.

On Saturday, Palestinian health officials said at least 40 Palestinians had been killed in separate Israeli strikes in some northern Gaza districts, where the Israeli army said it had attacked Hamas's military infrastructure. Hamas said the targets were the civilian population.

In Beit Lahiya in the northern Gaza Strip, health officials at Kamal Adwan Hospital said a baby had died of malnutrition, taking the number of children dead of malnutrition or dehydration since Oct. 7 to at least 30, a number that health officials say reflects under-recording.