Damascus extends cease-fire by 48 hours

Syria’s state news agency says the military has extended its cease-fire around Damascus and opposition strongholds in the eastern suburbs for another 48 hours.

The report says that President Bashar Assad’s army will extend the cessation of hostilities that was declared Friday around the capital and the coastal Latakia region, following two weeks of escalating violence around the country.

Syrian schoolchildren run past heavily damaged buildings in the rebel-held are of Jobar, on the eastern outskirts of the capital Damascus, April 30, 2016. (AFP Photo/Amer Almohibany)
Syrian schoolchildren run past heavily damaged buildings in the rebel-held area of Jobar, on the eastern outskirts of the capital, Damascus, April 30, 2016. (AFP/Amer Almohibany)

The truce excludes Aleppo, Syria’s largest city and a major battleground between rebels and pro-government forces.

Russia’s Tass news agency quotes Russian Lt. Gen. Sergei Kuralenko, head of the Russian coordination center in Syria, as saying that talks are continuing about a cease-fire for Aleppo. He says the Damascus area cease-fire was brokered by the Russia and the US, “in agreement with the Syrian leadership and the moderate opposition.”

— AP

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