MESOP Syria Daily: Some Regime Attacks, But Ceasefire Generally Holds on 1st Day
February 28 – by Scott Lucas – eaworldview – Syria’s cessation of hostilities generally held on its first day on Saturday, but some regime attacks were reported near Damascus and in the northwest of the country.
The Free Syrian Army said the Syrian military attacked in Latakia Province near the Turkish early Saturday morning. Three rebels were killed, but the assault was repelled.
Syrian helicopters dropped barrel bombs in the area and in neighboring Latakia Province, according to pro-regime activists. Jaish al-Nasr, a group affiliated to the Free Syrian Army, claimed Assad forces fired mortars, rockets, and machine guns in Hama Province, as warplanes patrolled overhead. “Compared to the previous days it is nothing, but we consider that they broke the truce,” Mohamed Rasheed, head of the Jaish al-Nasr media office, said.
Mortars and gunfire in Rastan in Homs Province: Near Damascus in the East Ghouta area, regime forces dropped two barrel bombs and opened fire, according to the rebel faction Jaish al-Islam, which responded with machine guns. Regime shelling killed two Free Syrian Army members and wounded four in the Khan al-Sheeh camp near the capital, according to the Saif al-Sham faction.
However, activists on all sides reported a sharp drop in violence in opposition-held areas across Syria. The White Helmets civil defense organization summmarized, “In comparison with past 4 years, today very quiet and Syria Ceasefire holding in the main. Long may it last.”
67 DEATHS ON SATURDAY
The ceasefire did not bring a halt to killing on Saturday, primarily because the cessation does not apply to Islamic State-controlled territory. The Local Coordination Committees reported 67 deaths, including 10 children and eight women.Of the casualties, 21 were in Aleppo Province, with Russian airstrikes on Dar Azza and Salloum villages, 11 were in Raqqa Province, and 8 in Deir ez-Zor Province.Twelve people died in the regime attacks near Damascus, five perished in Latakia, three each in Idlib and Homs Provinces, and two each in Daraa and Homs Provinces. www.mesop.de