At the stroke of midnight, Syria will awaken to peace

Updated: Dec 30, 2016, 09:29 IST | Agencies

Syrian regime, opposition sign deal brokered by Russia and Turkey to halt all military operations from midnight in the five-year-long civil war

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu (right) announced details of the ceasefire deal
Russian President Vladimir Putin and Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu (right) announced details of the ceasefire deal

Damascus: Syria’s army said yesterday it would halt all military operations from midnight, under a deal brokered by Russia and Turkey, with the opposition National Coalition announcing support for the agreement.

Meanwhile in Syria, men mourn over the body of a relative at a makeshift hospital in the rebel-held town of Douma, following reported air strikes. Pics/AFP
Meanwhile in Syria, men mourn over the body of a relative at a makeshift hospital in the rebel-held town of Douma, following reported air strikes. Pics/AFP

Earlier, Russia’s President Vladimir Putin announced the deal, saying the Syrian regime and “main forces of the armed opposition” had signed on. “The general command of the armed forces announces a complete halt to all hostilities on Syrian territory from the zero hour of December 30,” Syria’s army said in a statement carried on state television.

It added that the halt excluded combat against the Islamic State group and the former Al-Qaeda affiliate previously known as Al-Nusra Front, now rebranded the Fateh al-Sham Front.

Syria’s leading opposition National Coalition body, a political entity based in Turkey, confirmed its support for the truce.

Spokesman Ahmed Ramadan said key rebel groups including the powerful Ahrar al-Sham and Army of Islam factions had signed the ceasefire deal, though there was no immediate confirmation from rebel officials.

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People killed in Syria since the conflict began in March 2011

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