Ceasefire agreed for besieged town near Damascus – Russian military

Ceasefire agreed for besieged town near Damascus – Russian military
A ceasefire has been declared in Eastern Ghouta, a town near the Syrian capital of Damascus, the Russian Center for Reconciliation has announced.

According to a statement posted both on Facebook and the Russian Center for Reconciliation’s website, a “silence regime” has been implemented in the Eastern Ghouta region as of 00:01 Monday, meaning both the Syrian government forces and the rebels agreed to cease their military operations and use of weapons until at least 23:59 March 20, local time.

According to the Center for Reconciliation, no violations of the ceasefire have yet been recorded.

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Eastern Ghouta, a stronghold of rebel groups such as Jaish al-Islam (The Army of Islam), has seen some fierce fighting over the course of the Syrian conflict. In February, Stephane Dujarric, the spokesman for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, expressed concern about the 400,000 people trapped in the town, caught up in fighting between armed opposition factions and the government.

"Civilians currently have limited access to critical food, health and nutrition assistance," he told AP at the time.