Syria conflict: Russia calls for temporary truce

May 24, 2016, 3:15 AM EDT
Destruction in Syria
(Source: Karl-Ludwig Poggemann/flickr)

A day after a string of bombings rocked the government strongholds in Syria, the Russian defense ministry called for a 72-hour truce in the towns of Daraya and Eastern Ghouta in the capital Damascus. The move comes under the influence of U.S. Secretary of State, John Kerry, who spoke to his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov, urging him to pressure Syrian government to stop bombing civilians and opponents in Damascus and Aleppo.

Islamic State, which faces a massive military operation in neighboring Iraq where forces are advancing to retake the city of Fallujah, has stepped up attacks in the region, writes Al Jazeera. On Monday, it carried out a series of bombings, targeting bus stations, hospitals and other public places in the cities of Jableh and Tartus and killed at least 150 people.

Earlier on Sunday, some 40 militant groups in Syria issued a statement, threatening to suspend the cessation of hostilities agreement if the government didn’t stop its military offensive within 48 hours, notes PressTV.

The international community has made little headway in restoring the U.S.-brokered peace negotiations that fell apart in April after the Syrian opposition pulled out of talks, citing no improvement in the humanitarian crisis in the country.