Syrian Observatory: Ceasefire in Damascus Suburb to Be Announced in ‘Coming Hours’

15-Day Ceasefire Will Be 'Test' for Broader Deal

According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, an announcement on a 15-day ceasefire in the Damascus suburb of Eastern Ghouta will be coming in “the coming hours,” with the plan reportedly to begin early Thursday and extend into early December.

Eastern Ghouta is a rebel-held suburb, which has been the target of major airstrikes and shelling over the past few years. The region is also the source of this month’s story of rebels keeping Shi’ites as human shields in cages to wheel around to potential target sites.

The Observatory described the planned ceasefire as a “test period” which could be extended easily, and which could also serve as the basis for a broader deal. The international community is increasingly pushing for a settlement between the Syrian government and non-ISIS rebels.

The ceasefire may also give the factions, including the Syrian military, the opportunity to shift focus to other regions where their offensives might be more productive, as Eastern Ghouta appears securely in rebel hands, but the rebels are unable to expand beyond it.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.