Syria cease-fire brokered by Turkey, Russia takes effect

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Spokesman for Syrian armed opposition groups Osama Abu Zaid holds a press conference on the ceasefire between Syrian opposition groups and the Syrian government, at Anadolu Hotels Downtown in Ankara, Turkey on December 29, 2016. Zaid told that the cease-fire covers all armed group all across the Syria and does not exclude any regions. Turkey and the Russian Federation will act as guarantor countries in supporting the cease-fire.

A nationwide cease-fire in Syria, brokered by Russia and Turkey, took effect at midnight on Thursday local time.

The London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group said the conflicting groups in Syria appeared to be obeying the cease-fire as no firing has taken place since the truce came into effect at midnight on Thursday (2200 GMT).

On Thursday Russian President Vladimir Putin, a key ally of Syrian’s President Bashar al-Assad, announced that a truce had been brokered after talks with Turkey, a supporter of the Free Syrian Army (FSA).

Reuters reported on Thursday that Col. Fares al-Bayoush, an FSA commander, said they have acknowledged the deal.

“This time I have confidence in its seriousness. There is new international input,” al-Bayoush said, without elaborating.

Speaking at a press conference in Ankara on Thursday, FSA spokesman Osama Abu Zaid said there were 13 armed opposition factions in all who had signed on to the truce.

Putin also said the leaders of Turkey, Iran, Syria and Russia were prepared to start peace talks intended to take place soon in the Kazakh capital of Astana.

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