Syrian army announces 48-hour unilateral ceasefire

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Cairo, June 18 (IANS) The Syrian army announced a unilateral ceasefire in the city of Daraa in order to support national reconciliation efforts, the media reported.

According to a brief statement published by state-owned Syrian Arab News Agency, the cessation of hostilities began at 12.00 p.m. (local time) on Saturday.

The ceasefire comes as part of the Syrian army’s support to the “efforts of national reconciliation”, according to the report.

Although Daraa is within the four de-escalation zones agreed between Russia and Turkey, the Syrian regime has continued to attack this city, which is partially-controlled by rebel forces, EFe news reported.

Daraa is where the Syrian protests against President Bashar al-Assad first erupted in March 2011, later escalating into a fully-fledged civil war that is still ongoing.

This comes as the UN special envoy to Syria Staffan de Mistrua, announced that the seventh round of Geneva talks will take place on July 9.

Mistura said that the talks will rely on the progress made in the de-escalation zones’ deal, which was internationally backed and went into effect last May.

–IANS

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