Syria peace holding despite minor breaches

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Manju Shukla
Date  03/03/2016

The UN special envoy for Syria has given an upbeat assessment of truce in Syria, saying the ceasefire agreement engineered by the US and Russia has been holding across the country despite minor breaches.

Staffan de Mistura said during a briefing in the Swiss city of Geneva on Thursday that clashes are being reported from areas in Syria like Homs, Hama, Latakia and Damascus.

“There are still a number of places where fighting has continued, including parts of Hama, Homs, Latakia and Damascus, but they`re being contained,” the senior UN diplomat told reporters.

De Mistura, who was speaking at the end of a meeting aimed at improving access to 4 million people living in besieged and hard-to-reach areas in Syria, said the US and Russia as the co-chairs of the International Syria Support Group, are closely watching the developments on the ground so that the implementation of the ceasefire in Syria can be ensured at its best.

“The two co-chairs, which, as you know, are the crucial players in order to control the cessation of hostilities which they themselves have been facilitating, are in close attention to the situation in these areas, so is the world, and are, so far, ensuring that these incidents are contained,” he added.

De Mistura said that the UN is also working with Moscow and Washington to find factors that could undermine the confidence of Syrians in the ceasefire process.

For nearly five years, Syria has been grappling with a deadly insurgency it blames on some foreign states.

Estimates show that more than 250,000 people have been killed and millions have been displaced in the Arab country.

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