Syrian Rebels Attack Army Convoy, Sparking Battle Near Lebanon Border

Despite Mostly Intact Ceasefire, Civilians Avoid Past Battlegrounds

Repeated claims from both sides of ceasefire violations in Syria were entirely meaningless today, when witnesses saw troops with the Free Syrian Army (FSA) battling openly with the military in Qusayr, near the Lebanon border.

According to reports from a journalist on site, the fighting began when the FSA ambushed an army convoy near the town, sparking a battle. They insisted that attacking the convoy wasn’t a “violation” of the ceasefire as such, arguing that the convoy was itself a violation.

Even with the confirmed fighting in Qusayr, nationwide the fighting was still comparatively subdued, and the ceasefire remains mostly intact. Nearly a week into the ceasefire, however, things are far from normal in the country.

Indeed, reports from the key battleground towns suggest that the displaced civilian populations are not returning home just yet, and that most of the population movement is rebels moving back into the positions in those cities. What this means for the ceasefire remains to be seen, as there is still no solid timetable for moving on to formal negotiations.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.