Syrian regime warplanes bomb Damascus suburbs despite day-old ceasefire: monitor

Syrian regime warplanes bomb Damascus suburbs despite day-old ceasefire: monitor
Syrian regime shelling has struck towns in rebel-held Eastern Ghouta, a day after the government announced a ceasefire in the area, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.
2 min read
23 July, 2017
Syrian regime forces have violated a day-old ceasefire, a war monitor has reported [Getty]
Syrian regime warplanes bombed the Eastern Ghouta area near Damascus on Sunday, just a day after the military declared a ceasefire, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said. 

The British-based monitoring group said that Saturday had been relatively calm after the ceasefire took effect with isolated incidents of shellfire.

But on Sunday, six airstrikes hit the towns of Douma and Ain Terma in rebel-held Eastern Ghouta, it reported.

Regime shelling also hit the outskirts of the town of Jisreen on Sunday, the Observatory said.

The Damascus suburb has been battered by seven years of fighting and is one of the last rebel strongholds fighting President Bashar al-Assad's regime outside Idlib province.

Assad's forces have for weeks been fighting rebels on the outskirts of Ain Terma, which links Eastern Ghouta to opposition-held parts of the Damascus district of Jobar.

The army announced a halt in fighting in areas of Eastern Ghouta on Saturday from noon local time, but did not say which areas exactly would be included.

The Syrian regime has also repeatedly broken previous ceasefire agreements.

The ceasefire announcement came after regime ally Russia said it had reached a deal with "moderate" rebels on the boundaries and policing of the safe zone.

It said the sides had also agreed "routes to supply humanitarian aid to the population and for free movement of residents".

But no rebel group yielding influence in Eastern Ghouta said they had signed that agreement.

The rebel enclave is in one of four proposed "de-escalation zones" designated in a deal reached by government allies Iran and Russia and rebel backer Turkey in May.

But the accord has yet to be fully implemented over disagreements on policing the safe zones.