Syrian fighting dies down after midnight truce

Isolated incidents were reported in Syria after the US-Russian planned cessation of hostilities went into effect Saturday after midnight Friday.But calm generally prevailed in many parts of the country including Damascus and its countryside, as well as Latakia in the west, and no plane activity was reported from the Russian Hmeimim air base, although military activity intensified up until the midnight deadline. There was scattered gunfire around Aleppo and Homs. Russian President Vladimir Putin stressed on Friday that combat actions against Islamic State, the Nusra Front and other groups the Syrian government regards as terrorists would continue. UN Envoy Staffan de Mistura announced that if the two-week ceasefire holds and more humanitariian aid reaches civilians, the Syrian government and the opposition will restart peace talks on March 7.

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