Calm reaches over Syria's Aleppo as truce extended

Calm reaches over Syria's Aleppo as truce extended
The situation in Aleppo remained largely calm on Tuesday morning, after a truce was extended until Wednesday, but regime air raids continued to hit the Idlib province in northwest Syria.
2 min read
10 May, 2016
The situation in Aleppo remains largely calm [AFP]
Syria's northern powerhouse city of Aleppo remained calm on Tuesday morning as a truce was extended for 48 hours on Monday, after the city's southern suburbs were hit by government air raids.

Government forces and rebels in Aleppo, who had been engaged in heavy clashes on Monday, agreed to extend the truce for a second time, after an initial cessation of hostilities began on Wednesday and was extended on Friday before ending on Sunday.

Syrian state news agency SANA relayed the announcement by the army command, which was released in a statement on Monday.

"The 'regime of silence' in Aleppo and its province has been extended by 48 hours from Tuesday 01:00am [local time] to midnight on Wednesday," it said.

"The Russian Federation and the US are determined to redouble efforts to reach a political settlement in the Syrian conflict," a joint US-Russian statement said on Monday.

The announcement came as Russia and the US agreed to boost efforts to find a political solution to the war, now in its sixth year.

Meanwhile, Syria's northwestern Idlib province, controlled by the Nusra Front, the Syrian branch of al-Qaeda, came under regime bombardment.

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"The Syrian force's air raids struck last night over the town of Hafasrajah in Idlib, completely destroying a building and killing tens and injuring dozens of civilians," activist Mustafa Abu Mohammad told The New Arab. 

"Among the dead were three children and a woman."

At least 10 civilians were killed, said the UK-based Syrian Observatory.

Meanwhile, France urged the Syrian government and rebel forces to return to the negotiation table in Geneva "as soon as possible".

Speaking after a meeting with several Arab and Western backers of the Syrian opposition, French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault also called for "concrete guarantees on the maintenance of the ceasefire" and access for humanitarian aid on the ground.

The United Nations has sought in vain for months to find a diplomatic solution to the conflict, which has killed more than 270,000 people and displaced millions.

Agencies contributed to this report.