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Syrian cease-fire shattered

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UN and Arab League brokered cease-fire fails

Syrian rebels gather at a checkpoint in Aleppo  AFP PHOTO

Syrian rebels gather at a checkpoint in Aleppo
AFP PHOTO

The ceasefire brokered between Syrian government forces and opposition fighters crumbled on Friday, giving way to increased government offensives on suspected rebel locations and retaliatory attacks on government targets. The ceasefire lasted only hours, and the first reports of violence on Friday came in the early hours of the morning.

It is not possible to independently verify the videos posted on Friday by Syrian activists, but the images suggest that heavy fighting in Homs was ongoing, with the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) claiming heavy shelling in the village of Deir Sharqi, Idlib province.

In the city of Harasta, Reef Dimshaq province, a woman and two men were shot by sniper fire, while another man was killed by bombardments. In the city of A’rbin activists also reported that a rebel fighter and a civilian had been shot by a sniper. Both accounts were reported by SOHR, who could not confirm the source of the killings.

Violent clashes in Aleppo were also reported by a military checkpoint near the outskirts of the city. Of the deaths SOHR reported, three were identified as government soldiers.

SOHR estimated more than 18 people had died by 3pm, with seven of the deaths confirmed to have occurred after the cease-fire came into effect. Initially, reports of clashes died down during the early hours on Friday. The cease-fire was agreed upon by both sides on the basis that the other does not attack. It is currently unclear as to who fired the first shot. Online videos suggest a planned offensive against opposition fighters.

Syrian President Basher Al-Assad, was shown by state media praying in a Damascus mosque just hours into the ceasefire, as reports of fighting were already coming in. Thursday saw at least 140 Syrians lose their lives, 71 of which were civilians – according to SOHR.

 

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Luiz Sanchez

Luiz Sanchez

Journalist

Luiz is a Brazilian journalist in Cairo @luizdaVeiga


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