Syrian troops, rebels agree on ceasefire ahead of Ramadan

Syrian troops and armed rebels in a central Syrian district have agreed on a truce during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, media reported Friday.

IANS| Last Updated: Jun 27, 2014, 17:50 PM IST

Damascus: Syrian troops and armed rebels in a central Syrian district have agreed on a truce during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, media reported Friday.

The truce in al-Waer district, the last remaining rebel-held area inside the city of Homs, has gone into effect as of Friday, just a couple of days ahead of the commencement of Ramadan, the month of fasting for Muslims, Xinhua reported citing the pan-Arab al-Mayadeen TV.

Last month, the Syrian government declared the old quarters of Homs city free of rebels after an agreement in that ancient part of the city between the government troops and the rebels.

The deal entailed the evacuation of the rebels from old Homs and in return the government agreed to release some of the imprisoned opposition activists and members of the rebels` families.

The rebels also released hostages they had taken before from government-controlled areas and broke a siege they had imposed on pro-government areas in northern Syria.

After last month`s deal, the entire city of Homs has been under government control except the al-Waer neighbourhood and three towns in the northern countryside of Homs, namely al-Dar al-Kabira, Talbiseh and al-Rastan.

Friday`s truce is deemed by observers as a good sign for a near-future deal between the government troops and the rebels.

Homs, Syria`s third largest city, was one of the first areas to sympathise with an anti-government movement in Syria. The rebels there took considerable swathes of land, but government troops have stripped them of their territory over the past year.