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Syrian army, militants agree on Zabadani ceasefire

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Syrians walk amid the rubble of destroyed buildings in the southwestern town of Zabadani. (Photo by AP)

Government forces and militants in Syria have agreed to a ceasefire in the southwestern town of Zabadani following indirect negotiations between the two sides.

The so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said guns fell silent and rocket fire stopped across Zabadani, located approximately 45 kilometers (27 miles) northwest of the capital, Damascus, in line with a 48-hour ceasefire agreement that came into force at 6:00 a.m. local time (0300 GMT) on Thursday.

The ceasefire between the Syrian army troopers and the foreign-backed extremists also restored calm in the villages of Fuaa and Kafraya.

The development comes as Syrian army soldiers backed by fighters from the Lebanese Hezbollah resistance movement had already made some advances in Zabadani, clearing the militants from key areas in the town.

They mounted a joint operation early last month to take Zabani back from the militants.

Also on Thursday, a total of 46 terrorists were killed during intense clashes with Syrian troops in the al-Sayyed Ali neighborhood of Aleppo, situated 355 kilometers (220 miles) north of Damascus, Syria’s official news agency SANA reported.

In this file photo, Syrian army troopers are seen at al-Habaria Village in the southwestern province of Dara’a. (Photo by Xinhua)


A number of al-Qaeda-affiliated al-Nusra Front militants were also killed as Syrian soldiers launched an offensive in the town of Busra al-Sham in Syria’s southern province of Dara’a.

Additionally, Syrian jet fighters conducted a series of aerial strikes against the strongholds of foreign-sponsored militants in the western provinces of Idlib and Hama, killing and injuring a number of Takfiris.

The foreign-sponsored conflict in Syria, which flared in March 2011, has reportedly claimed more than 240,000 lives up until now.

The United Nations (UN) says the militancy has displaced more than 7.2 million Syrians internally, and compelled over four million others to take refuge in neighboring countries, including Jordan and Lebanon.

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