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US, Russia reach deal on ceasefire in Syria’s Aleppo

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An agreement has been reached with Russia to extend a ceasefire in Syria to Aleppo province and the besieged city of Aleppo, the US State Department said.

The expansion went into effect on Wednesday just after midnight in Damascus (02:00 GMT), the State Department said, noting an “overall decrease in violence” since then despite some continued fighting.

“Since this went into effect today at 00:01 in Damascus, we have seen an overall decrease in violence in these areas,” spokesman Mark Toner said.

The US is coordinating with Russia to finalise monitoring efforts for the ceasefire and calls on all parties to abide by the agreement.

“We look to Russia as a co-chair of the International Syria Support Group to press for the Assad regime’s compliance with this effort, and the United States will do its part with the opposition,” the State Department statement said.

Dozens of people were killed in a day-long battle in western Aleppo that was still going on intermittently, the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights and sources on both sides said.

Sources loyal to the Syrian government gave conflicting accounts of the outcome of the battle that began early on Tuesday in and around the Jamiat al-Zahraa area of western Aleppo.

A rebel told AP news agency that fighters had managed to take some ground from the government side, while the army said the attack was repelled.

Read up on AL Jazeera

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