Syrian Terrorists Say Zabadani Ceasefire Over, Talks Collapse

Sun Aug 16, 2015 16:04:36

A Syrian militant group said on Saturday a ceasefire was over between insurgents and the Syrian army and its Lebanese ally Hezbollah in a town near the Lebanese border and two villages in the northwest, tasnimnews reports.

Ahmed Qara Ali, spokesman for the Ahrar al-Sham militant group, said armed groups had begun to escalate military operations after the collapse of negotiations between the warring sides brokered by Iran and Turkey, Reuters reported.

There was no immediate word from the Lebanese Resistance Movement Hezbollah or the Syrian military. Ahrar al-Sham had been leading the negotiations on behalf of militants.

The ceasefire had held since Wednesday morning in the town of Zabadani near the Lebanese border and two villages of Kefraya and al-Foua in the northwestern province of Idlib.

Zabadani has been the focus of a weeks-long offensive by Hezbollah and the army against insurgent groups holed up inside.

Insurgent groups had in turn launched a parallel attack on the two villages. Insurgent shelling of the two villages early on Wednesday killed a child and wounded 12 more people, state TV reported.

Sources on both sides had said talks had been aimed at securing a withdrawal of militant fighters from Zabadani and a withdrawal of citizens from the two villages.

The cancellation of ceasefire came as Reuters had earlier on Friday reported the truce would be extended until Sunday.

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