The largest coalition of militant groups in Southern Syria announced that they have refused to participate in a US-Russia brokered cessation of hostilities stretching across Quneitra, Dara’a and Western Sweida.
Releasing a long statement on the matter, the ‘Death over Humiliation’ operations room that was formed in February to unite Tahrir al-Sham Hay’at (the Levant Liberation Board or the al-Nusra Front) and Free Syrian Army (FSA) terrorist groups under one fighting force, stated it would not adhere to the ceasefire, rendering it useless:
Thus, clashes between militants and the Syrian army resumed across all the three provinces in Southern Syria on Friday with both sides exchanging artillery fire.
Effectively, the ceasefire held for less than one week.
A ceasefire took effect in Southwest Syria after a deal was brokered by the US and Russia on the sidelines of the G-20 summit in the German city of Hamburg last Friday.
The truce was enforced by midday on Sunday, in the provinces of Dara’a, Sweida and Quneitra in the Southwest, along the Jordanian border.
Syrian government forces had announced a halt to combat operations in the three provinces. According to the military, the move was aimed at supporting the peace process and national reconciliation in Syria.
The United States and Russia have backed opposing sides in Syria’s six-year-conflict, with Moscow supporting the forces of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and Washington backing rebel groups seeking his ouster.
The deal is separate from the draft agreement on de-escalation zones, which were to be created under a deal brokered earlier this year during Russia, Turkey and Iran-sponsored talks in Astana between the Syrian government and representatives of the armed opposition.