DAMASCUS: A truce in Aleppo in northern Syria between regime forces and rebels that was due to expire late Monday has been extended by 48 hours, the army command said.
“The ‘regime of silence’ in Aleppo and its province has been extended by 48 hours from Tuesday 01:00 am (local time) to midnight on Wednesday,” a statement said.
The temporary truce, initially for two days and then prolonged until Tuesday at 00:01 am (21:01 GMT Monday), was decided after fighting killed nearly 300 people since April 22 in Aleppo, where some areas are held by rebels and others by government forces.
The announcement came as Russia and the United States agreed to boost efforts to find a political solution to Syria’s five-year war which has killed more than 270,000 people and displaced millions.
The two powers also agreed to extend a truce across the whole of the country.
“The Russian Federation and United States are determined to redouble efforts to reach a political settlement of the Syrian conflict,” according to a joint US-Russian statement published by the Russian foreign ministry.
To this end, Russia “will work with the Syrian authorities to minimise aviation operations over areas that are predominantly inhabited by civilians or parties” to the ceasefire, it said.
The two powers brokered a February 27 ceasefire between regime forces and the armed opposition that did not, however, include jihadist fighters such as the Islamic State group and Al-Qaeda’s Syria affiliate, Al-Nusra Front.
On Sunday, Syrian rebels fired rockets into a regime-held district of Aleppo, killing five civilians including two children, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.
The Britain-based monitor also reported 10 civilians killed on Monday by regime bombardment in the northwestern province of Idlib which is controlled by Al-Nusra Front.