March 7, 2017 / 4:25 PM / 2 years ago

Russia says ceasefire agreed in Syria's Eastern Ghouta until March 20

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia’s Defense Ministry said on Tuesday that a ceasefire had been agreed in Eastern Ghouta in Syria’s Damascus province until March 20.

Russia backs President Bashar al-Assad in Syria’s long-running civil war and has launched an aerial bombing campaign against anti-government rebel forces.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based war monitor, said warplanes carried out at least five air raids against rebel-held parts of Eastern Ghouta and that the army had also bombarded it with rocket fire on Tuesday.

Clashes continued between rebels and pro-government forces on front lines in Eastern Ghouta with mutual shelling, the Observatory said, adding however that the intensity of the bombardment and clashes was less than in previous days.

That was contradicted by the Russian ministry, which said on its website that it had observed no violations of the ceasefire in Eastern Ghouta since it had started on March 6.

Reporting by Alexander Winning in Moscow and Angus McDowall in Beirut; Editing by Alison Williams

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