by Staff Writers
Geneva (AFP) Nov 28, 2017
Syria's government agreed on Tuesday to a ceasefire in rebel-held Eastern Ghouta, following days of heavy bombardment, the United Nations envoy to the war-ravaged country said.
"I was just informed by the Russians... today at the P5 meeting that Russia has proposed and the government has accepted a ceasefire in Eastern Ghouta," Staffan de Mistura told reporters in Geneva.
He was speaking after a meeting of ambassadors from Security Council permanent representatives -- Britain, France, China, Russia and the United States -- earlier on Tuesday.
Eastern Ghouta is one of the last remaining rebel strongholds in Syria, and is part of one of four so-called "de-escalation zones" in place across the country to reduce violence.
It has been under siege since 2013 but in recent weeks violence has increased considerably, with government air strikes and artillery fire across the region, and rebel fire from the area into Damascus.
The town of Hammuriyeh in Eastern Ghouta was hit with airstrikes on Tuesday morning, according to the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
It said four people, two of them children, were killed Tuesday in Eastern Ghouta, where food is in short supply.
The enclave east of the Syrian capital is home to around 400,000 people and humanitarian organisations have voiced fears that conditions there could yet get worse.
The implementation of the "de-escalation" zone, agreed earlier this year between government allies Russia and Iran and rebel backer Turkey, had initially reduced the violence in Eastern Ghouta.
Washington (AFP) Nov 27, 2017
The Pentagon pledged Monday to be as transparent as possible about how many troops are deployed overseas, after an agency published figures that diverge significantly from official counts. According to a quarterly report from the Pentagon's Defense Manpower Data Center, as of September 30 the US military had 15,298 troops in Afghanistan, 8,892 in Iraq and 1,720 in Syria. The numbers - e ... read more
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