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Syria truce appears to be holding as it enters first full day

Tuesday, September 13, 2016 - 14:46

[ALEPPO] A Syria ceasefire brokered by Moscow and Washington appeared to be holding as it entered its first full day Tuesday, with AFP correspondents and activists reporting a quiet night on the main battlefronts.

AFP correspondents on both sides of divided second city Aleppo said the night had passed without opposition rocket fire into government-held areas or regime air strikes against rebel districts.

Residents remained out on the streets until midnight, taking advantage of the truce that went into force at sundown to celebrate the first day of the Muslim Eid al-Adha holiday.

AFP correspondents in the government-held capital and its rebel-controlled suburbs said they too were quiet.

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

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

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

"This time, we were able to sleep well. Last night was amazing," Nayef Mustafa told AFP from the town of Salqin.

But he voiced scepticism about whether the truce would last beyond the initial 48-hour ceasefire, which is to be extended if it holds.

"People are only expecting it to stay calm for the holiday," he said, referring to Eid.

US Secretary of State John Kerry told reporters in Washington it was "far too early to draw conclusions" about the success of the ceasefire, but said 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.

AFP

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