Syria guns mostly silent as truce takes hold

Less than an hour before the ceasefire, the UN Security Council gave its unanimous backing to the truce in a resolution drafted by the US and RussiaA rare calm prevailed across much of Syria Saturday as the first major ceasefire of the five-year war took hold and an international task force prepared to begin monitoring the landmark truce. Guns fell silent at midnight in suburbs around the capital and the bomb-scarred northern city of Aleppo, AFP correspondents said, after a day of intense Russian air strikes on rebel bastions. The nationwide cessation of hostilities, brokered by Washington and Moscow, is seen as a crucial but fragile step towards ending a war that has claimed 270,000 lives and displaced more than half the population.

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