Clashes in Damascus kill 9 despite ceasefire

Clashes in Damascus kill 9 despite ceasefire

BEIRUT: At least nine people, including seven government soldiers, were killed in overnight fighting near the Syrian capital of Damascus, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) said on Saturday.

The SOHR said that despite a nationwide truce, fighting continued in Wadi Barada, a district northwest of Damascus that is held by the rebels and is home to the capital’s main water source. Water supplies from Wadi Barada have been cut since December 22.

The UK-based monitor said that the fighting had killed at least seven Syrian soldiers and two civilians, while wounding around 20 others, some of whom were in critical condition.

Both the regime and the rebels have held each other responsible for the recent violence, with the government saying that the rebels targeted water infrastructure while the rebels saying that the army carried out strikes that hit pumping facilities.

Fighting continued to take place in the area even though a truce had been brokered on December 30 with the backing of Russia and Turkey.

The ceasefire had been accepted by both the warring parties and had partially restored peace in large parts of Syria, however violence had continued to occur in Wadi Barada.