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Assad vows to recover all of Syria from 'terrorist groups'

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By Keith Walker
Assad vows to recover all of Syria from 'terrorist groups'

Hours before a US-Russian ceasefire deal was due to take effect, the Syrian president said the Syrian state was determined to recover all areas from terrorist groups.

Bashar al Assad was speaking during a visit to the Damascus suburb of Daraya, which was evacuated by rebels and returned to state control last month.

“By visiting this area [Daraya] we also deliver the message that the Syrian state is determined to recover every single area from those terrorists. We are determined to restore peace and security. We are committed to the reconstruction of infrastructures to rebuild all that has been destroyed at material and human levels,” said Assad.

Daraya’s surrender after years of siege marked a big blow to the rebellion.

Reuters news agency reported fighting between government troops and rebels on the eve of the truce.

The ceasefire will not apply to so-called Islamic State, or Jabhat Fateh al-Sham, the group previously known as the Nusra Front.

Previous peace agreements have crumbled within weeks.

Moscow and Washington back opposite sides in the five-year conflict.