Government forces and opposition groups in the Syrian battleground city of Aleppo agreed on Monday to extend the truce a second time, the Syrian military said, as the United States and Russia vowed to redouble efforts to end the war. The cessation of hostilities was initially to last for two days but was later extended for another two days. However, residents of the city are worried that the fight could restart any time. Since people have limited access to food, clean water and medical equipment, more refugees coming to Turkey could be possible.
The announcement came as Russia and the United States agreed to boost efforts to find a political solution to the five-year war which has killed more than 270,000 people and displaced millions. "The Russian Federation and United States are determined to redouble efforts to reach a political settlement of the Syrian conflict," a joint U.S.-Russian statement published by the Russian foreign ministry said. The two powers also agreed to try extend a February 27 ceasefire across the whole of the country. The cease-fire, which was brokered by Washington and Moscow and excluded militant groups, including Jabhat al-Nusra and DAESH was greatly strained by the upsurge in violence in Aleppo. Washington and Moscow on Monday hailed some "progress" in reducing the fighting but admitted to ongoing "difficulties" in achieving a de-escalation in some areas as well as in ensuring humanitarian access to besieged areas. The opposition groups who accuse the regime and its main ally Russia of violating truce, had yet to confirm the extension of the truce, which was decided after nearly 300 people were killed in an uptick in fighting in Syria's largest city since late April.
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