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Syrian Opposition Announces Ceasefire Deal in Eastern Ghouta

Syrian Opposition Announces Ceasefire Deal in Eastern Ghouta

Friday, 26 January, 2018 - 19:00
A Syrian man shows remnants of rockets fired by regime forces on the town of Douma in the Eastern Ghouta region on the outskirts of Damascus. January 22, 2018. (AFP)

The Syrian opposition announced on Friday that a ceasefire has been reached with the regime over the Eastern Ghouta enclave in the suburbs of Damascus.

Opposition spokesman Ahmed Ramadan said the agreement was signed Friday, on the second and last day of a UN-mediated round of peace talks in Vienna.

The opposition delegation also received a pledge from Russia that it will push the regime forces to enforce the ceasefire.

“There was a Russian pledge to the negotiating team ... It will begin at 12, after midnight today,” Ayman al-Asemi, a member of the Free Syrian Army’s military council told Reuters.

However, the head of the opposition's negotiation committee at the Vienna talks, Yehya al-Aridi, did not confirm the Russian pledge, saying only: "There are negotiations about this."

The opposition-held eastern Ghouta region outside Damascus has seen more than two months of heavy fighting since rebels tried to break a strict regime blockade that has depleted food and medical supplies for nearly 400,000 people trapped inside.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said at least 286 civilians in Eastern Ghouta and Damascus have been killed in shelling and airstrikes in the last month because of the fighting.

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