The Syrian government and rebels agree on a ten-day ceasefire in al-Waer, the last opposition-held area of the city of Homs. Thousands of residents are stuck in during the siege, only occasionally receiving food and humanitarian aid. Residents say they believe the rebels agree to a ceasefire because they had been weakened in recent months and are running out of supplies. The ceasefire appears to be a result of local negotiation efforts, with talks between the warring sides going on for some time. A resident says food trucks have arrived:
We have been without any electricity, diesel or gas for heaters for too long now. Children are really cold, we live in extreme cold. We hope that after this the roads will open and we can have the freedom of moving.
Syria’s U.N. special envoy Mistura says he has won a commitment from the Syrian government to stop shelling the city of Aleppo, before a planned offensive against the city, and that it is up to rebels to also agree to the proposed six-week freeze in fighting. No start date has been agreed. Mistura
The government of Syria has indicated to me its willingness to halt all types of aerial bombing and artillery shelling for a period of six weeks, all over the city of Aleppo.
The U.N. representative of the opposition Syrian National Coalition:
We await a detailed proposal from [Mr.] de Mistura. We’ll study any proposal he puts forward carefully and in detail. The Assad regime’s compliance with any such proposal will be judged by actions, not words. And thus far, his actions have been only brutality and terror.
Russia agrees to a UN-backed 48-hour humanitarian ceasefire in the divided Syrian city of Aleppo to allow aid deliveries, but security guarantees are awaited from other parties on the ground. UN spokesperson:
We have…agreement now from the Russian Federation for the 48-hour pause, we’re waiting (for) it from the other actors on the ground. That has taken more time frankly than I thought was needed.
US State Dept spokesperson:
If the U.N. says they need 48 hours, of course we support the U.N. But … our focus is on a nationwide sustainable cessation of hostilities.