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Observatory for Human Rights: Scattered Violations of Southwest Syria Ceasefire | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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A Syrian man rides his motorcycle past damaged buildings in the southern city of Daraa. AFP file photo

Frontlines across three provinces in southwestern Syria remained mostly quiet on Monday almost 24 hours into a US-Russian brokered ceasefire for the region despite scattered violations, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

The US, Russia and Jordan last week agreed on a ceasefire for Daraa, Quneitra and Sweida that went into effect at noon local time on Sunday.

The Britain-based monitor said the ceasefire appeared to be largely holding.

“Calm prevailed” in the southwest, it said, but reported sporadic incidents of violence mostly in Daraa.

The monitor said two shells fired by regime forces had landed on the town of Saida in eastern Daraa overnight, while rebels and regime forces had exchanged fire in the village of Al-Naeema in the same province.

Another two regime shells were fired into the Al-Balad area in the Daraa province and brief clashes erupted in the provincial capital Daraa city overnight but quickly stopped, the monitor added.

In Quneitra province, there were also reports of sporadic exchanges of fire, though there were no casualties in any of the incidents, the monitor said.

“There are minor violations that do not affect the ceasefire,” said Observatory director Rami Abdel Rahman. “In general there is quiet in the three provinces.”

“Syrian ceasefire seems to be holding … Good!” US President Donald Trump Trump tweeted on Sunday.

“We negotiated a ceasefire in parts of Syria which will save lives,” Trump said in an earlier tweet on Sunday. “Now it is time to move forward in working constructively with Russia!”

A senior US State Department official involved in the talks said further discussions would be necessary to decide
crucial aspects of the agreement, including who will monitor its enforcement.

Syria’s regime had already declared its own unilateral ceasefire in the area last week, but fighting had continued.

Sunday’s ceasefire went into effect just ahead of new peace talks in Geneva, which begin later Monday.