BEIRUT: A week-old ceasefire agreement in northwest Syria appeared to hold Sunday after it was violated for the first time overnight, a monitoring group said.
An online statement attributed to insurgent alliance the Army of Conquest said rebels shelled Shiite village al-Foua in retaliation for government attacks on areas nearby and in the city of Homs farther south.
The insurgents blamed government forces for violation of the ceasefire.
Under the Iranian- and Turkish-backed ceasefire, warring sides have agreed to cease hostilities in at least two villages in northwestern province Idlib, and a town near the Lebanese border for up to six months.
During that time, insurgent fighters are to withdraw from the border town of Zabadani, where they are surrounded by pro-government forces. In return, civilians would be evacuated from the Shiite villages of al-Foua and Kefraya in Idlib which are under rebel siege.
Rebels shelled al-Foua overnight, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.