Damascus comes under shelling despite truce
Residential neighborhoods in the Syrian capital of Damascus have come under shelling, shortly after a ceasefire took effect in the crisis-hit country.
According to a report by Syria’s official SANA news agency, “terrorist groups” fired the shells on Saturday from neighborhoods east of the city. However, no casualties have so far been reported.
Following the attack, which reportedly targeted the Abbasiyeen neighborhood, the Syrian army warned against “the consequences of such actions” in a statement and urged people to remain committed to “local reconciliation.”
Earlier on Saturday, the agency said a deadly bomb attack was carried out at the entrance to the town of Salamiya in the province of Hama. The Daesh Takfiri terrorist group claimed responsibility for the bombing in an online statement and said one of its elements had rammed into a Syrian army gathering with an explosives-laden car in the area.
The so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights also held Daesh responsible for the bomb blast, but said it is not a breach to the truce because “it occurred in an area where the cessation of hostilities agreement does not apply.”
Another terror attack at the entrance of al-Tayba village in the eastern countryside of Salamiya took four lives when an assailant riding a motorcycle blew his explosives.
Earlier in February, the United States and Russia said a truce has been planned to take effect in Syria on February 27 midnight Damascus time. The Syrian government also accepted the terms of the truce on condition that military efforts against Daesh and the al-Nusra Front Takfiri militants, who are not included in the ceasefire agreement, continue.
Staffan de Mistura, the United Nations special envoy for Syria, said he plans to resume indirect peace talks between the Syrian government and opposition on March 7 on the condition that the two sides observe the ceasefire.
He announced a halt in the peace talks on February 3, after the foreign-backed opposition refused to continue the discussions in the wake of Syrian army gains.
The foreign-sponsored conflict in Syria, which started in March 2011, has claimed the lives of some 470,000 people and left 1.9 million injured, according to the Syrian Center for Policy Research.