Agreement reached on ceasefire in Eastern Ghouta in Vienna peace talks

UN envoy Staffan de Mistura (C) looks on before the start of talks on Syria in Vienna on January 25, 2018. (REUTERS)
Updated 26 January 2018
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Agreement reached on ceasefire in Eastern Ghouta in Vienna peace talks

VIENNA: A Syrian opposition spokesman says the opposition and government have signed a cease-fire agreement over the fighting in the suburbs of Damascus.
Ahmad Ramadan says the agreement was signed on Friday, on the second and last day of a UN-mediated round of peace talks in Vienna.
The opposition-held eastern Ghouta region outside Damascus has seen more than two months of heavy fighting since rebels tried to break a strict government blockade that has depleted food and medical supplies for nearly 400,000 people trapped inside.
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says at least 286 civilians in eastern Ghouta and Damascus have been killed in shelling and airstrikes in the last month because of the fighting.
Reports suggest agreement was also reached on allowing aid organisations to have access to the most beseiged areas as well as a prisoner exchange.


Russia to send modern missile defense systems to Syria

Updated 6 min 3 sec ago
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Russia to send modern missile defense systems to Syria

MOSCOW: Moscow will bolster Syria's air defence following the downing of a Russian plane last week by sending a modern S-300 system to the Syrian army within two weeks, Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said Monday.
In a televised statement, Shoigu said the decision to "transfer the modern S-300 air defence system to the Syrian armed forces within two weeks" was taken by President Vladimir Putin and is one of the "response measures" following the downing of a Russian plane with 15 troops on board which Moscow blamed on the Israeli air force.