Al Jazeera is reporting that an agreement has been reached with Russia to extend a ceasefire in Syria to Aleppo province, including the besieged city of Aleppo.
The expansion went into effect on Wednesday just after midnight in Damascus (02:00 GMT), and the US State Department have noted an “overall decrease in violence” since then, despite some continued fighting.
The Russian ambassador to the UN, Vitaly Churkin, told the UN Security Council that the Syrian army had confirmed the ceasefire, saying there would be a “regime of calm” in Aleppo for 48 hours.
Al Jazeera’s Rosiland Jordan, reporting from Washington DC, said that the announcement was delayed because “officials wanted to see how long it would take for the ceasefire to come into effect”.
“They decided to announce it now because they believe that the ceasefire is holding,” Jordan said.
The US is coordinating with Russia to finalise monitoring efforts for the ceasefire and calls on all parties to abide by the agreement.
Meanwhile, the United Nations Humanitarian Affairs chief Stephen O’Brien told the UN Security Council that the killing of civilians in Aleppo “cannot and will not be forgotten”, warning that perpetrators will be held accountable. At least 250 civilians have been killed in Aleppo over the last 10 days.
- Give thanks for the cease fire that now covers Aleppo. Pray that it will, not only hold, but be extended beyond the 48 hour deadline.
- Pray for those in Aleppo mourning the loss of family and friends, and the destruction of their city. Pray that they will find comfort through the Holy Spirit’s presence, and that they will know the peace and presence of a God who loves them and grieves with them.
- Pray for hope for Syria, that many will encounter the Living Christ Jesus and come to find healing, and a future and a hope through His grace and love.
2 Chronicles 7 vs 14: “If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, pray, seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”