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20th of October 2017

International



The Latest: 3 Syrian rebel groups agree to Damascus truce

BEIRUT –  The Latest on developments in Syria (all times local):

4:10 p.m.

Egypt's state media and a representative of a Syrian rebel group are saying that three Syrian opposition factions have reached a cease-fire deal for a southern part of Damascus that has been the scene of recent violence.

The state-run MENA news agency and Mohammed Alloush of the rebel group Jaysh al-Islam, or Army of Islam, said the deal was reached under Egyptian and Russian auspices.

MENA says the deal was signed at the intelligence's headquarters in Cairo on Thursday and went into effect at noon.

Alloush told The Associated Press by telephone that the three parties to the deal are Army of Islam, Jaysh al-Ababil and Aknaf Beit al-Maqdis, which is linked to the Palestinian Hamas group.

The deal would also open humanitarian access and prevent displacing its residents inside Syria.

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3:50 p.m.

Syrian opposition activists say government troops are pushing deeper into an Islamic State stronghold in the country's east, the town of Mayadeen.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says clashes with militants intensified in the morning hours on Thursday in the town, as government forces advanced into the western and northern neighborhoods of Mayadeen, which lies on the Euphrates River.

The Observatory says troops were able to cut off the road linking Mayadeen and the town of Boukamal on the border with Iraq.

Opposition activist Mozahem al-Salloum says the fighting is fierce and that it will likely take time to rid Mayadeen of the Islamic State group.

Syrian troops reached Mayadeen on Saturday, after pushing south along the eastern banks of the Euphrates.

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