Syrian ceasefire truce extended, Aleppo included

A Syrian woman and two children walk past heavily damaged buildings on May 7, 2014 in the northern city of Aleppo. The evacuation of rebel-held parts of Homs city began today under an unprecedented deal which hands back control to the government less than a month before Syria's presidential election. AFP PHOTO / BARAA AL-HALABI
A Syrian woman and two children walk past heavily damaged buildings on May 7, 2014 in the northern city of Aleppo. The evacuation of rebel-held parts of Homs city began today under an unprecedented deal which hands back control to the government less than a month before Syria’s presidential election. AFP PHOTO / BARAA AL-HALABI

The Syrian army has extended a truce around the besieged city of Aleppo. Moscow and Washington have vowed to extend their efforts to see a ceasefire implemented across the whole country.

The United States and Russia promised to “redouble” efforts to end the Syrian Civil War on Monday as a truce around the key city of Aleppo was extended for 48 hours. The two powers agreed to help implement a February 27 ceasefire plan for the entire country.

“The Russian Federation and United States are determined to redouble efforts to reach a political settlement of the Syrian conflict,” read a joint statement published by the Foreign Ministry in Moscow.

The Kremlin and the White House added that they were happy to report some “progress” in de-escalating the conflict, but were encountering “difficulties” in ending the fighting in some areas, as well as delivering humanitarian aid to regions beleaguered by battle.
To ensure that aid is distributed as quickly as possible, Russia said it would “work with the Syrian authorities to minimise aviation operations over areas that are predominantly inhabited by civilians” or parties to the ceasefire agreement, which does not include Islamist rebels such as “Islamic State” (IS) jihadists.

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