Ceasefire Announced for Part of Syria’s Eastern Ghouta

Civilians begin returning to towns already taking by Syrian Army

With the Syrian government and Russian advisors trying to negotiate an evacuation for the remaining parts of the rebel enclave of Eastern Ghouta, a ceasefire has been announced covering part of the remaining rebel territory.

Syrian civilians evacuate from Eastern Ghouta’s rebel-held town of Douma

All rebel territory belonging to Failaq al-Rahman is under ceasefire starting at midnight Friday. The deal is intended to prevent any civilian deaths in further fighting while the rebels negotiate with the Russian government about finding a settlement to end the siege.

The Syiran Army has already covered the majority of the territory of Eastern Ghouta, a suburb of  the capital city of Damascus, though most of the big population centers remain rebel-held. Still, Russia is reporting some 6,500 displaced civilians have returned to their homes in government-controlled areas, a sign they believe the offensive is going to stick.

Civilians in the rebel-held areas are still fleeing, with the Syrian government encouraging them to get out while they still can. While earlier in the fighting safe exits simply weren’t possible, people are now fleeing en masse from the area.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for Antiwar.com. He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.