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Syria rejects reports of truce with Daesh in southern Damascus

This picture taken on April 29, 2018 shows Syrian army forces running for cover from Daesh sniper fire in Yarmouk, a Palestinian refugee camp on the edge of the Syrian capital, Damascus. (Photo by AFP)

The Syrian army has rejected reports that it observed a brief ceasefire with the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group in a southern Damascus neighborhood.

In a statement carried by Syria's official SANA news agency on Saturday, a Syrian military source said the reports about an agreement with Daesh in the al-Hajar al-Aswad district were inaccurate.

The so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) had claimed that pro-Damascus forces and Daesh had observed a truce at midday on Saturday, "ostensibly for five hours," to evacuate terrorists from al-Hajar al-Aswad. 

SOHR head Rami Abdel Rahman told AFP that the ceasefire had been negotiated by Russia and pro-government Palestinian factions. He also claimed late Saturday that the truce was still in effect.

Meanwhile, a Syrian soldier told Al-Masdar News that Daesh had called for the ceasefire to discuss the terms of its surrender and that the terror outfit wanted evacuation to the country's eastern part.

Takfiri militants have lost much of the territory they once held in Syria amid sweeping gains by government forces on the ground over the past few months.

In April, the Syrian military launched a counter-terrorism campaign in southern Damascus. So far, it has managed to retake al-Maziniyeh, al-Qadam, al-Assali and al-Joura neighborhoods and large swaths of al-Hajar al-Aswad.

Syrian forces further liberated the Eastern Ghouta and Eastern Qalamoun regions near the capital last month.

For years, the areas had served as a launch pad for deadly terror attacks against civilians in Damascus.

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