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Temporary Truce Extended in Eastern Ghouta | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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The Doctors Without Borders-backed al-Quds hospital in Aleppo, Syria, was damaged by airstrikes Thursday, Reuters

Beirut- The Syrian Army, on Tuesday, backing the Russian statement announced that the approach for a calmer state-of –affairs, the temporary truce, would be extended another 48 hours for the vicinity of Damascus.

Sergei Kurylenko, head of the Russian coordination center in Syria, on Tuesday spoke of extending the ceasefire to the eastern Ghouta region, so that it lasts until Tuesday midnight.

The Free Syrian Army (FSA) on the other hand, considered that the Syrian regime’s promoted truce is merely media talk with no tangible evidence. The FSA, a part of the Syrian opposition, says the truce is being advertised solely in an attempt to manipulate the ceasefire agreement by running sideline accords.

FSA leadership revealed that Syrian President Assad’s forces attempt on attacking FSA-controlled areas in the eastern Ghouta region.

This is the second prolongation consequent to the one previously announced on Sunday in which the ceasefire was employed for a 24-hour period in the capital city of Damascus. Cessation of hostilities had begun last Friday and included Damascus and the overlooking region of eastern Ghouta. The statement announced had not addressed ceasefire which was defined by a 72-hour window for the northern coastal Latakia governorate.

Legal FSA Adviser Osama Abu Zaid considered that the leeway on the truce announced in terms of hours at different periods translates into the regime attempting to invest the truce in other places.

Abu Zaid pointed out that previous ceasefires have not gotten the Syrian President Assad what he desired; especially that he was restricted, given that operations are to be ultimately limited to areas overrun with ISIS and Al-Nusra Front factions.

Despite the previously set agreement – cracking down on ISIS and Al-Nusra Front only- it was later revealed that the Syrian Army’s operations deliberately targeted FSA dominated areas.

In his statement to Asharq AL-Awsat newspaper, Abu Zaid confirmed that the regime has halted all military operations across certain battlefronts, withdrawing units and dispatching them to fight in other fronts.

“The Syrian regime works based on Russian decision, since Russians are the ones who outline its agenda, while the Syrian Army alongside affiliated militias handle its execution,” Abu Zaid added.

Backing the theory on the truce being only words with no action, Abu Zaid said that the southern front is currently calm simply because the regime was rendered unable to strike, for it is absorbed with its priority on attending the Aleppo battlefront.

Furthermore, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights stated that two mortar bombs were dropped after midnight, early Monday, over the town of Mesraba, located in the eastern Ghouta region.

The observatory confirmed that the military helicopters pounded the outskirts of Khan al-Shih, located in the western Ghouta region. The town was reportedly buffeted with over six explosive barrels, with no registered human loss. At the same time, Al-Nusra Front has opened sniper fire on FSA ambulances patrolling el-Marg region, located in the eastern region of Ghouta, which led to the death of one FSA member.