BEIRUT, LEBANON (12:20 P.M.) – The Russian Ministry of Defence (MoD) has just announced a new ceasefire agreement that Russian mediators in Syria reached with rebels in the countryside of northern Homs Governorate.

The new de-escalation zone agreement is large, including up to the 87 rebel-held towns and villages in a besieged region known as the Rastan pocket.

Russian security forces (mainly military police) are to set up three crossing points in the area as well as a number of checkpoints to observe the ceasefire.

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Cyriak Papasissis

Great news. This development encapsulates all the difference in the US – Russian approaches to resolving conflicts. It offers a way out , without further violence , to many misguided Syrians , who were caught up in the maelstrom of the insurgency , many times because the terrorists didn’t offer them another choice to survive. It’s time for all Syrians to recuperate , unite , and see the dividends of peace emerge.