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Syria troops, Kurds agree on Russia-brokered truce in Hasakah

Kurdish fighters from the People's Protection Units (YPG) greet each other in the northeastern city of Hasakah, Syria, August 21, 2016. (Photos by Reuters)

Syrian forces and Kurdish fighters have agreed upon a Russia-brokered ceasefire in the north-eastern city oHasakah.

The truce includes a "halt to all hostilities and the return to government forces of any positions seized by Kurdish fighters," said a Syrian military source on Sunday.  

Despite both parties battling the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group, clashes erupted on Wednesday between the US-backed Kurds and troops loyal to the Syrian government.

According to the terms of the ceasefire, casualties from the fighting will be transferred to the close-by town of Qamishli, and further negotiations are also scheduled for Monday.

Seven army checkpoints, which were seized by Kurdish forces during the clashes, have been returned to the control of government forces, but three still remain in Kurdish control, according to local reports.

However, following the announcement of the ceasefire, a Kurdish source was quoted by AFP as saying that the ceasefire has not been fully agreed upon yet. "No agreement has been reached on a ceasefire or the return of positions to the government," he said.

A Kurdish fighter from the People's Protection Units (YPG) carries his weapons as he walks along a street in the northeastern city of Hasakah, Syria, August 21, 2016.

Since the fighting erupted, large numbers of the city’s population have fled, while the rest of the people are dealing with water and power shortages.    

On Saturday, a Russian delegation from Khmeimim airbase arrived in Qamishli to coordinate efforts for a ceasefire between the feuding forces.

Over the past few months, Syrian forces have made a series of significant gains against militants in the country, especially in and around the northern city of Aleppo.

Meanwhile, Syrian fighter jets and choppers carried out several airstrikes on militant held positions in Aleppo, which has been divided between government forces and militants since 2012. Syrian forces have been engaged in a major operation to liberate the militant-held parts of the city as well as the province with the same name.   

Kurdish fighters from the People's Protection Units (YPG) carry their weapons as they take positions in the northeastern city of Hasakah, Syria, August 20, 2016.

Syrian troops also carried attacks on several terrorist positions held by the Jabhat Fateh al-Sham (previously known as the al-Nusra Front) in the central Homs province, killing at least five militants and destroying several vehicles.

Syria has been gripped by foreign-backed militancy since March 2011. UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura estimates that over 400,000 people have been killed in the conflict. Back in 2014, the UN said it would no more update its official death toll for Syria because it could not verify the figures that it received from various sources.

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