DAMASCUS, Syria, The Syrian government and Kurdish rebels on Tuesday agreed to a cease-fire in the northeastern city of Hasaka, which has seen intense fighting in recent weeks.
The cease-fire began at 2 p.m. The warring factions will exchange injured, captured and dead militants Tuesday night. Roads in the city will be opened for travel.
The cease-fire comes after Kurdish forces gained control of nearly all of the city. The military forces fighting for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, including pro-government militias, will be allowed to leave. Kurdish militants are also expected to leave and a Kurdish police force will be deployed to provide security.
The recent fighting between pro-Assad forces and Kurdish forces in Hasaka has been some of the worst between them since the start of the Syrian civil war. In Syria’s besieged city of Aleppo, more than 275,000 people have been cut off from food, water and medical supplies recently.
Stephen O’Brien, the United Nation’s under secretary for general humanitarian affairs, told the U.N. Security Council that while a temporary cease-fire by Russian forces proposed last week was welcomed, there have been no assurances from other militants. The U.N. and other humanitarian organizations have urged the Syrian regime, its ally Russia and the rebel groups they are fighting to allow a cease-fire in order for aid to reach Aleppo residents.
“This cannot be a one-sided offer,” O’Brien said. “Plans are in place, but we need the agreement of all parties to let us do our job.”
By Andrew V. Pestano