Ceasefire collapses in Syria’s city of Zabadani

Negotiations between Hezbollah and opposition fighters for an extension of the two-day truce until Sunday collapse after no agreement was reached

Photo by: AP
Photo by: AP

Residents of Zabadani walk amidst their torn city due to airstrikes by Assad forces.

Updated Aug 17, 2015

Negotiations for an extension of the ceasefire until Sunday in Zabadani and two Shiite villages in the northwestern province of Idlib collapsed after Lebanese Shiite militia Hezbollah and Ahrar al-Sham, one of the fighting opposition factions, failed to reach an agreement, al-Jazeera correspondent reported from the outskirts of Idlib.

Disagreement came after the Iranian-backed Hezbollah militia refused to leave Zabadani and the two villages of al-Foua and Kafraya, and instead stressed that the residents needed to evacuate their homes, which was not an accepted request by Ahrar al-Sham fighters.

A draft agreement between the two parties to call for a ceasefire in the designated three areas was provided earlier to al-Jazeera which stipulates the release of forty thousand Syrians held in Assad prisons, simultaneously, the exit of some fighters and civilians from the village of al-Foua.

In addition, the draft includes a complete ceasefire in many areas south of Syria including Zabadani and Madaya, in the north, al-Foua and Kafraya, to permit aid to be delivered to the residents of the towns and transporting all the wounded in the south to Idlib and all of the wounded in the north to the coast of Hama.

The two-day truce which started on Wednesday was an attempt to stop the six weeks of heavy fighting in Zabadani between Ahrar al-Sham and Syrian regime forces backed by Hezbollah. The town was heavily bombarded by Assad warplanes in an attempt to recapture the town from the control of the opposition.

At least 1400 shellings were conducted previously by opposition fighters in the regime-held outskirts of Shiite inhabited Foua and Kafraya as a response to the ongoing regime assault to civilians in Zabadani City, as reported by the UK-based Syrian observatory.

The ceasefire was then extended for one more day, which was on Friday and on the same day, the two parties agreed to extend the ceasefire for two more days until the agreement collapsed before reaching the targeted extension deadline.  


TRTWorld and agencies