April 29, 2016 / 11:00 AM / 2 years ago

Syrian military calls temporary 'regime of calm' in parts of country

BEIRUT (Reuters) - A “regime of calm” will be enforced in parts of Syria’s Latakia and Damascus regions from 1:00 a.m. (2200 GMT) on April 30, in order to “secure the implementation of the agreed cessation of hostilities”, a Syrian military statement said on Friday.

A statement from the Syrian Army General Command did not mention the city of Aleppo, focus of fighting, and did not explain what military or non-military action a “regime of calm” would involve.

It would last for 24 hours in the Eastern Ghouta region east of Damascus and in Damascus, and for 72 hours in areas of the northern Latakia countryside.

“This is in order to sever the road for some terrorist groups and their supporters, who strive to prolong this state of tension and instability and to find pretexts to target peaceful civilians,” the statement said.

A Feb. 27 cessation of hostilities agreement was intended to allow an opportunity for peace talks and delivery of humanitarian relief across Syria.

Peace talks in Geneva aimed to end a war that has created the world’s worst refugee crisis, allowed for the rise of Islamic State and drew in regional and major powers, but the negotiations have all but failed and a cessation of hostilities agreement to allow them to take place has all but collapsed.

Reporting by Lisa Barrington; editing by Ralph Boulton

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