Syria army, opposition confirm nationwide truce from midnight

Syria’s army said Thursday 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.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 30th,” 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.”The National Coalition expresses support for the agreement and urges all parties to abide by it,” spokesman Ahmed Ramadan told AFP.He 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.The agreement comes after Syria’s government recaptured the country’s second city Aleppo from rebels, in the worst blow to opposition forces since the war began.The ceasefire will be the first nationwide halt in fighting since a week-long truce from September 12-19 that collapsed after several incidents of violence.A previous truce was implemented in February, with both of those deals organised by Russia and the United States.

Source: Syria army, opposition confirm nationwide truce from midnight

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