Syrian conflict: fragile truce holds. The goal is the distribution of aid

The special UN envoy for Syria, Staffan de Mistura speaks of "significant decline” in violence. Since the beginning of the ceasefire no civilian casualties. Tension persists in some areas of the country. Jihadist groups excluded from the truce. Need to ensure the delivery of food and basic necessities.

Damascus (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The UN special envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura confirms the "significant fall" in violence in Syria, recorded during the first day of the fragile truce signed by the US and Russia and in force since the evening of September 12. However, warns the United Nations diplomat, there must be greater efforts to ensure the security of cargo convoys of aid for areas of the country most in need.

The ceasefire started with the Islamic festival of Sacrifice (Eid al-Adha) and is the latest in a series of diplomatic efforts so far agreed to by Washington and Moscow. The goal is to try to stem a five-year conflict that has caused, according to the latest estimates, more than 300 thousand deaths (of which 87 thousand civilians) and millions of refugees, creating an unprecedented humanitarian catastrophe.

The agreement provides for the end of the fighting between forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and the various rebel groups operating on the ground; jihadist groups like the Islamic State (IS) and the Nusra Front are excluded from the truce. The US and Russia are continuing diplomatic work to launch a joint campaign targeting them.

According to reports from the UN special envoy de Mistura there have been a few isolated outbreaks of conflict, especially during the night between September 12 and 13. However, in the last 24 hours the picture is positive and there were no victims among the civilian population.

Local sources in Aleppo add that in the west, mainly under government control, and in the eastern sector in the hands of the rebels, there have been no bombings or rocket attacks. There is also relative calm reported in Damascus and the rebels in the suburbs; the residents took advantage to celebrate the Islamic festival.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, an activist group based in London with an extensive network of informants on the ground, reports fighting between government forces and the jihadist group Jund al-Aqsa Mosque in the central province of Hama.

Meanwhile citizens brought to their knees after months of intense fighting are cautiously welcoming the truce. "Usually we spend the night awake listening to the noise of the airplanes, but thank God this night we could sleep," said the activist Hassan Abu Nuh, from Talbisseh currently in rebel hands.

Children ran through the streets east of Aleppo, some have taken advantage to play ball. "The truce is a good thing - says Abu Jamil, a resident in the area - we now hope for the arrival of some food."

Currently no convoy has been able to distribute aid. The goal of the United Nations is the creation of humanitarian corridors to facilitate the entry and delivery of food, medicines and basic necessities.