The ceasefire in Syria seems to be under threat as rebel groups claim the terms of the ceasefire agreement have been violated. As such, several rebel groups have announced they have frozen their participation in the peace talks which are to go ahead in Kazakhstan later this month.
Speaking to Al Jazeera news agency, the rebel groups stated the peace talks have been threatened due to a Syria government attack on Wadi Barada. Currently, this is rebel-held, and is a main water supply for the city of Damascus, Syria’s capital city.
Among the groups putting a freeze on the deal are the Free Syrian Army and the Army of Conquest. Both groups are fighting against the Syrian government.
In a joint statement, they said, “As these violations are continuing, the rebel factions announce … the freezing of all discussion linked to the Astana negotiations.
“The regime and its allies have not stopped shooting and have launched major and frequent violations, notably in the regions of Wadi Barada and Eastern Ghouta.
“Any [advance] on the ground goes against the [ceasefire] agreement and if things don’t return to how they were before, the accord will be considered null and void,”
Al Jazeera’s Hashem Ahelbarra, reported, “The rebels say they signed the ceasefire in good faith but that the Syrian regime and its ally Russia have failed to live up to their end of the deal.
“They say fighter jets have continued to pound rebel-held areas across the country with barrel bombs, particularly Wadi Barada.”
For the last two weeks, Syrian’s air force, together with Hezbollah and Shia militants, has attacked Wadi Barada daily. The region is about 15kms outside Damascus.
Government forces want to seize control of the area as it supplies the drinking water for about four million people in the capital.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said 1000 civilians are fleeing the area.