Egypt, Russia broker ceasefire deal for southern Damascus

Source: Xinhua| 2017-10-12 20:35:44|Editor: Mengjie
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CAIRO, Oct. 12 (Xinhua) -- Egypt hosted on Thursday a ceasefire agreement signed by three rebel factions southern Damascus in war-torn Syria with a guarantee from Russia, official MENA news agency reported.

"The deal is signed at the headquarters of the Egyptian General Intelligence for a ceasefire south of the Syrian capital Damascus on the part of Jaysh al-Islam, Jaysh Ababil and Aknaf Bayt al-Maqdis factions," MENA quoted a statement from the Egyptian intelligence agency as saying.

The statement noted that the agreement is reached under Egyptian sponsorship and Russian guarantee and that the ceasefire is in effect from Thursday, 1000 GMT.

Rebels hold a small area of a territory southern Damascus bordering an enclave held by the Islamic State (IS) militant group.

The forces of the Syrian government of President Bashar al-Asad are backed by Russia, Iran and Shiite militias.

Russian troops in Syria have been launching bombing raids in support of the government forces, while a U.S.-led international anti-terror coalition has been launching airstrikes against IS targets in the conflict-stricken country.

In early August, Egypt and Russia also brokered an agreement to create a "de-escalation zone" and a ceasefire between the Syrian government forces and armed rebels in the northern Homs countryside in Syria.

Egypt successfully brokered an earlier deal to de-escalate conflict in Eastern Ghouta region in Damascus, according to MENA.

The Egyptian leadership has always expressed support for a political settlement for the Syrian crisis in a way that ends bloodshed in Syria and maintains the unity of its territories.

Since its eruption in March 2011, the Syrian crisis has claimed the lives of about half a million people and displaced and wounded over 14 million.

Latest UN-sponsored peace talks in Astana of Kazakhstan failed to reach an agreement between the Syrian regime, backed by Russia, and Iran and the exiled opposition.