Regions in Syria covered by ceasefire deal
(MENAFN- The Peninsula) A Syrian rebel fighter from the Islamist Failaq al-Rahman brigade mans a position on the frontline against regime forces in the town of Arbin in the eastern Ghouta region on the outskirts of the capital Damascus on February 26 2016.AFP / AMER ALMOHIBANY
Damascus:A UN-backed ceasefire deal took hold across parts of Syria on Saturday bringing relative calm to areas where the Islamic State group and Al-Qaeda's local affiliate are not present.
Under the deal a halt in fighting will take place in Damascus and most of its suburbs the southern province of Daraa and parts of Aleppo and Homs provinces according to a government source and the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group.
But large swathes of territory in Syria's centre north and east will fall outside the truce because of the presence of IS and Al-Nusra Front.
According to Syria specialist Fabrice Balanche the ceasefire will be applicable in about 10 percent of Syrian territory.
The deal includes the main rebel bastion of Eastern Ghouta east of the capital including the flashpoint towns of Douma and Arbin where daily fighting and shelling are typically intense.
The government has said the rebel bastion of Daraya will be excluded from the truce because of the presence of jihadists something activists deny.
The ceasefire will likely only come into effect in the northern parts of Homs province around the emblematic rebel towns of Rastan Talbisseh and Houlah.
But much of eastern areas including the historic city of Palmyra are controlled by the Islamic State group and will not see a halt in fighting.
Only a handful of towns are likely to fall under the ceasefire deal including the town of Latamina where rebels are dominant.
Fighting is set to end in the provincial capital where an active front line has divided the government in the western neighbourhoods from rebels in the east since 2012.
West of the city where jihadists are not present in areas like Atareb and Daret Ezza the ceasefire is set to take hold.
But implementing the truce will be most complicated in northern parts of Aleppo province where rebel control overlaps with Al-Nusra Front like in Hreitan and Kafrhamra.
Most of this province bordering Jordan will see a halt in fighting except for small pockets where Al-Nusra is present.
WHERE FIGHTING WILL CONTINUE
Military operations will continue in eastern parts of Aleppo province where IS controls wide swathes of territory including the towns of Al-Bab and Manbij.
The jihadist group also dominates the provinces of Deir Ezzor in the east and Raqa in the north.
Al-Nusra is intertwined with rebel groups in the northwest province of Idlib and in coastal Latakia.
A cessation of hostilities is not expected to take place in the southern province of Quneitra where Al-Nusra is present and which borders the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights.