Syrian Army’s Eid Truce Brings Fighting Lull, Sporadic Clashes

Fighting eased in Syria after the government announced it would end military operations for three days nationwide, coinciding with the beginning of the Muslim Eid holiday.

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The cease-fire would begin at 1 p.m. local time, according to a brief statement by the Syrian army broadcast on state television on Wednesday. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry welcomed the cease-fire, saying talks were underway with Russia and other parties to extend it.

“We are trying very hard to grow these current discussions into a longer-lasting, real, enforceable, cessation of hostilities,” he said during a visit to Tbilisi, Georgia, according to Associated Press.

A lull in fighting was reported in several Syrian provinces after the truce began but there were clashes in the Eastern Ghouta suburb of Damascus between government forces and the Islamist militia Jaish al-Islam, said Rami Abdurrahman, head of the U.K.-based monitoring group Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

Previous cease-fires have not applied to UN-designated terrorist groups such as Islamic State, and fighting continued Wednesday between IS militants and government troops in Homs and Hama, Abdurrahman said. Airstrikes on Aleppo city were also reported.

U.S., Russia and other states sponsoring Syrian peace talks have failed to reach a resolution to the six-year conflict with the major hurdle being the fate of Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad.

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