Iraq captures border crossing to Syria from IS

The United States on Saturday welcomed a 48-hour cease-fire in southern Syria and called on the Syrian government to honor its commitments during that period, reported Reuters.

In a statement published on its website, the Ministry said that the military operations against the opposition forces in Daraa would be halted for 48 hours.

State Minister for Media Affairs and Government Spokesman Muhammad al-Momani said the Kingdom supports all efforts and initiatives designed at brining about a comprehensive ceasefire on all Syrian territory.

In Washington, the US State Department said "we welcome any initiative to reduce tensions and violence in southern Syria".

Russian Federation said it would hold its own talks in Kazakhstan's capital Astana on July 4-5.

Staffan de Mistura's office said Saturday that the aim is for delegates to arrive in the Swiss city on July 9 and for talks - the seventh round so far - to start the following day. Nauert urged groups on both sides to live up to the agreement and allow humanitarian aid to reach civilians stranded by the conflict.

In more than six years, the Syrian conflict has killed hundreds of thousands of people and driven more than 11 million from their homes.

In recent weeks, Syria's government and Iranian-backed militias have stepped up attacks in the city. Since May, violence levels have vastly reduced in some of those proposed de-escalation areas, but fighting has continued on major frontline areas including in Deraa city.

During ceasefire talks in the Kazakh capital city of Astana last month, Russia, with backing from Turkey and the Islamic Republic of Iran, brokered a deal for establishing de-escalation zones in Syria's mainly militant-held areas.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based monitor of the war, reported a cautious calm in the hours after the truce was announced yesterday.

"We have not heard of any such talk and the regime is still attacking us with the same intensity", the commander said at 3:30 p.m. (1230 GMT).

  • Leroy Wright