Truce in danger as Syrian planes resume strikes

BEIRUT: Syrian warplanes resumed their bombardment of the rebel-held Wadi Barada valley northwest of Damascus on Sunday after nearly 24 hours with no air raids, a rebel official and the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group said.
Rebels threatened on Saturday to abandon a Russian- and Turkish-backed ceasefire deal, which took effect on Friday, if the Syrian government and its allies continued to violate it.
The Observatory and a military news outlet run by Lebanese Hezbollah, a Damascus ally, said hundreds of civilians had left Wadi Barada in the last day for government-controlled areas nearby. Fighting in parts of Syria threatened a shaky ceasefire brokered by Russia and Turkey, whose efforts to kickstart talks towards ending the conflict won backing from world powers.
The nationwide truce aims to smooth the way for peace talks in Kazakhstan orchestrated by Moscow, Iran and Ankara.
The UN Security Council on Saturday unanimously approved a resolution supporting the Russian and Turkish initiative aimed at ending the nearly six-year-old war that has killed more than 310,000 and displaced millions.
Air raids and clashes have continued to shake parts of the country since the ceasefire started at midnight Thursday, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based monitor of the war. — AFP