Syrian army declares ceasefire in southern city of Deraa

Syrian army has halted all combat operations in the southern city of Deraa for two days.

Meanwhile, both Russia and the UN announced plans for separate sets of peace talks among Syrian factions in July, according to German DW.

The Syrian army said Saturday in a statement that a ceasefire had been implemented in Deraa, an area covered by an accord brokered by Russia, Turkey and Iran last month to set up “safe zones” in the war-ravaged country.

“This comes to support efforts for national reconciliation,” the army said.

The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the ceasefire was largely holding in the city, adding the truce was a result of a deal brokered by Jordan, Russia and the United States.

A fierce battle between President Bashar al-Assad’s troops and Islamist rebels had been raging in Deraa since early June.

A Syrian opposition source told the German DPA news agency that Assad’s regime opted for a ceasefire as it was losing the battle.