Syria ceasefire largely holding, no civilians death reports

Syria ceasefire largely holding, no civilians death reports
Boys walk near a damaged building on the first day of Eid al-Adha celebrations in the rebel held Douma neighbourhood of Damascus, Syria September 12, 2016. REUTERS/Bassam Khabieh

A nationwide ceasefire brokered by the U.S. and Russia was mostly holding across Syria on Tuesday and efforts to deliver badly needed aid to besieged areas including the northern city of Aleppo got cautiously underway.

The agreement, made by US and Russia who back opposing sides in the five-year-old war, promises a nationwide truce from sundown on Monday, improved access for humanitarian aid and joint military targeting of hardline Islamist groups.

At least 14 violations were reported since the ceasefire took effect on Monday, but most parts of Syria remained relatively calm, the SOHR’s Rami Abdulrahman told Al Jazeera.

Syrian state media said armed groups had violated the truce in a number of locations in Aleppo city and in the west Homs countryside on at least seven occasions on Tuesday. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said pro-government forces had shelled near two villages in the south Aleppo countryside and a neighborhood on the outskirts of Damascus.

Some air attacks and shelling were reported in the first hours of the truce on Monday evening.

But there were no reports of deaths or injuries.

“No one has died from gunfire over the past 15 hours,” he said on Tuesday at 12pm Damascus local time (09:00 GMT). “This is so far the most successful ceasefire to take place in the country.”

Residents remained out on the streets until midnight, AFP said, taking advantage of the truce to celebrate the first day of the Muslim Eid al-Adha holiday.

In the opposition-held central Syrian town of Talbiseh, which came under heavy fire in the run-up to the truce, activist Hassaan Abu Nuh said the government’s bombardment had stopped.

“We usually stay up all night with the airplanes, but thank God last night we could all sleep,” he told AFP.

In the largely rebel-held northwestern province of Idlib, where air strikes killed 13 people on Monday, an activist reported a quiet night too.

John Kerry, the US secretary of state, said in Washington that while it was “far too early to draw conclusions” about the success of the ceasefire, initial reports of the first two hours suggested “some reduction” in violence.

“I urge all the parties to support it because it may be the last chance that one has to save a united Syria,” he said.

The Syrian crisis began as a peaceful demonstration against the injustice in Syria. Assad regime used to fire power and violence against the civilians and led to armed resistance. 450.000 Syrians lost their lives in the past five years according to UN estimates, and more than 12 million have lost their homes.