Aleppo ceasefire to be extended by 48 hours

A ceasefire in the northern Syrian city of Aleppo will be extended by 48 hours beginning on Tuesday.

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

A boy rides a bicycle near damaged buildings in Aleppo, Syria May 5, 2016.

A ceasefire in the northern Syrian city of Aleppo will be extended by 48 hours beginning at 1am on Tuesday (2200 GMT Monday), SANA news agency said on Monday.

Aleppo, Syria's largest pre-war city, has witnessed a vicious flare-up in fighting in recent weeks, shattering a nationwide cessation of hostilities agreement and causing peace talks to collapse.

The cessation of hostilities and such local truces do not include DAESH and Al Qaeda's Syrian branch, the Nusra Front.

Rebels and the mainstream Syrian opposition have said the Syrian regime uses this fact to continue to attack rebel positions. Both sides accuse the other of causing the cessation of hostilities to break down.

In an attempt to revive the cessation of hostilities, a number of short-term local truces have been put in place since April 29, first around Damascus and northern Latakia and then in Aleppo.

The Aleppo truce went into effect in the middle of last week, but there has still been some fighting between rebels and pro-regime forces.

The most significant outbreak of violence has been southwest of Aleppo around the town of Kham Touman, which rebels seized on Friday, inflicting a rare setback on pro-regime forces and allied Iranian troops who suffered heavy losses in the fighting.

The chief negotiator for the main Syrian opposition at Geneva peace talks, Asaad al Zoubi, criticised the extended Aleppo truce in an interview with Al Jazeera television, saying such measures serve only to allow thousands of reinforcing troops to be sent from Iran, which is supports Syrian regime leader, Bashar al Assad.

"The truce has not been done for the interests of the Syrian people," he said.

TRTWorld, Reuters