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Reports out of Syria today claim that Hezbollah fighters blocked Russian military observers from entering an area of metro Damascus to check on the status of military activities in Wadi Barada, with respect to the ongoing ceasefire.
The Russian delegation arrived in the area after being “invited” by local residents, and Hezbollah stopped them when they arrived. Under the ceasefire deal, Russia and Turkey are guarantors of the deal, with expectations they are supposed to monitor areas where fighting is ongoing with factions not included in the deal.

There is already speculation that this could threaten the ceasefire, or indicates some tension between the Russia and Iran, both of which are backing Syria in the civil war, since Hezbollah is generally seen as one of Iran’s proxies within the civil war.

The Syrian regime forces aided by Hezbollah have been fighting to retake the Wadi Barada area which contains the main source of water for Damascus.

It is unclear, however, whether this is as major an issue as is being reported, or simply a one-off misunderstanding. Either way, it raises further concerns about the ceasefire in the near-term as rebels continue to present everything the military does as a violation.

AntiWar/YL

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