BEIRUT (AP) — The Iranian Foreign Ministry on Saturday welcomed a U.S.-Russian agreement on a cease-fire for Syria, where it has been a key ally of President Bashar Assad during the five-year war that has resulted in as many as 500,000 deaths.
Iran's semi-official ISNA news agency quoted Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Ghassemi as saying that "Iran has always welcomed a cease-fire in Syria and the facilitation of humanitarian access to all people in this country."
The agreement is set to go into effect on Monday night, coinciding with the Muslim holiday Eid al-Adha. Both Assad's forces and rebels would halt attacks, while the U.S. and Russia would join forces against the Islamic State group and al-Qaida-linked militants in Syria.
With Iran's endorsement, the agreement is now backed by Assad and all key allies of the Syrian government: Moscow, Tehran, and the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah. Iran has sent some of its top military commanders, as well as Revolutionary Guard and regular army forces, to bolster Assad's troops.
Rebel factions say they are still deliberating the agreement, which permits government forces to strike al-Qaida-linked militants for seven days before the U.S. and Russia would take over the task.
Rebels have been fighting side-by-side with the al-Qaida-linked Jaysh Fatah al-Sham around the northern city of Aleppo as they try to break a government siege on the city's opposition-held quarters. It is not clear how the government will distinguish between the two, and whether it can strike at the Fatah al-Sham group without hitting other rebels as well. Aleppo is Syria's largest city and the new focus of the conflict.
The ultraconservative Ahrar al-Sham group, one of the leading factions in Aleppo, said rebel factions would release a unified position statement on the truce. Forty days of fighting in Aleppo has killed nearly 700 civilians, including 160 children, according to a Syrian human rights group.
In the past, several cease-fires were brokered--all which failed to hold. The Russian and U.S. governments contend this will go beyond several previous truces between the Syrian government and armed opposition.
An ex-con who allegedly killed the proprietor of an East Village flooring-materials store at the victim's downtown business during a robbery pleaded not guilty Friday to a murder charge that could lead to the death penalty if he's convicted.
UTC Aerospace Systems plans to wind down manufacturing at its Chula Vista aircraft plant beginning early next year, eliminating around 300 jobs, it was reported Friday.
Defined as a person who behaves badly, but in an amusing way, a scallywag does not mean to cause harm, but to have fun. The same kind of mischief will be happening on Saturday, October 20 at Waterfront Parki in downtown San Diego as the day long Ye Scallywag music and beer festival takes place.
A light plane occupied by a flight instructor and a student pilot made a safe emergency landing Friday amid late-morning traffic on Interstate 8 in El Cajon.
Residents in El Cajon are sounding the alarm on what they say are growing problems related to increased homelessness in the area. Some neighbors say they feel unsafe in their own yards because of drug use and nearby encampments.
Strong and gusty Santa Ana winds, low humidity and warm temperatures prompted the National Weather Service to issue a red flag fire warning Friday denoting a strong risk of wildfire in San Diego County.
San Diego State University students who were recently vaccinated for meningitis may need to receive the vaccine again, the school and Walgreens warned on Friday.
A man who allegedly murdered the proprietor of an East Village flooring-materials store at the victim's downtown business while wearing a Halloween-style old-lady mask is in custody, facing charges of murder and robbery. San Diego police reported Thursday.
A pedestrian was rescued from underneath a vehicle Friday after she was struck near an Interstate 805 on-ramp in the Mountain View area, authorities said.
This free family Halloween day is Saturday, October 20 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Pier Plaza in Imperial Beach!