Hostilities have largely ceased in parts of the conflict-ridden nation in the wake of a new peace deal. "Islamic State" terrorists, who did not sign on to the peace deal, have not been deterred, however.
The fragile truce in Syria entered its second day on Sunday and appeared to be holding despite minor violations. The majority of ongoing violence appeared to be at the hands of "Islamic State" (IS) and al-Nusra front terrorists, who were not included in the ceasefire.
US Secretary of State John Kerry and his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov "hailed" the progress after a joint telephone call. It was their two countries who authored the deal, which was approved by the regime of President Bashar al-Assad and an umbrella organization of moderate anti-government rebels.
Disagreements over Assad's future in Syria had long stymied cooperation between Moscow and Washington.
The ceasefire went into effect at midnight on Saturday. According to the United Nations, there had been "some incidents" of violence but they have been defused," according to a Western diplomat after a meeting of the International Syria Support Group (ISSG) in Geneva.
"If it (the truce) holds, it will create the conditions for full, sustained and unimpeded humanitarian access throughout Syria," Federica Mogherini, the head of foreign policy for the European Union.
180 killed in IS violence since truce began
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) reported that several air strikes, likely launched by Moscow or Damascus, had hit the Aleppo and Hama provinces, resulting in the bombing of seven villages. The head of the Britain-based Observatory, Rami Abdel Rahman, said one person was killed in Aleppo province but it was not immediately clear if the territory was covered by the truce as different groups, including al-Nusra, control different parts of the area.
SOHR further reported that 180 people had died on the first day of the ceasefire, this time at the hands of IS as they tried to take the Kurdish-held town of Tel Abyad. Among the dead were 70 jihadists, 20 Kurdish fighters and several civilians.
es/ (AP, AFP, dpa, Reuters)