Fighting resumes in Syria towns covered by truce

Clashes and shelling resume in Zabadani and two largely Shia villages besieged by rebels in Idlib province.

    Online footage showed rebels firing rockets into the mainly Shia village of Kafraya [via YouTube]
    Online footage showed rebels firing rockets into the mainly Shia village of Kafraya [via YouTube]

    Fighting between Syrian government forces and rebels has resumed in three key locations where a ceasefire had been in place.

    Pro-regime forces, including Lebanon's Hezbollah, had agreed on a truce in the rebel bastion of Zabadani near the border with Lebanon and the government-held mainly Shia villages of Fua and Kafraya in Syria's northwest. 

    Shelling and clashes began early on Saturday after overnight talks to reach a broader deal, including rebel fighters leaving Zabadani and the evacuation of civilians from Fua and Kafraya, failed.

    Fua and Kafraya, the last two government-held villages in Idlib province, have been surrounded by a rebel alliance including al-Qaeda's affiliate the Nusra Front for months.


    Syria deal: 'Population swap' or 'sectarian cleansing?'


    Activist footage posted online showed rebels firing so-called "elephant rockets" into Kafraya on Saturday. 

    The rockets, named after the distinctive noise they make when they are launched, are improvised weapons made by attaching rocket motors to much larger bombs - a process that increases their destructive power while greatly reducing their accuracy.

    The same kind of rockets have been used by Syrian regime forces.

    The resumed fighting marks the collapse of the second ceasefire for the three areas this month.

    The rebels had also sought the release of prisoners held by the government.

    More than 240,000 people have been killed since Syria's conflict began in March 2011, and half of the country's population has been displaced by the war.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera And AFP


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    How different voting systems work around the world

    How different voting systems work around the world

    Nearly two billion voters in 52 countries around the world will head to the polls this year to elect their leaders.

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    Russian-Saudi relations could be very different today, if Stalin hadn't killed the Soviet ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

    The great plunder: Nepal's stolen treasures

    The great plunder: Nepal's stolen treasures

    How the art world's hunger for ancient artefacts is destroying a centuries-old culture. A journey across the Himalayas.