5-speed listening (Level 5)

Fresh hopes as ceasefire is agreed in Syria






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There is a fresh hope for an end to hostilities in Syria. The United States, Russia and Syria have signed an agreement to target the group known as ISIS. It will come into effect on Monday. There is mixed reaction around the world to the latest plan as previous attempts at halting the fighting have failed. Even with the new 10-day truce being hours away, the bombs continued to fall in areas around the capital Damascus. Syrian government air strikes on ISIS-held areas killed at least 82 people over the weekend. At least 45 people died in Aleppo.

Most of the major players in Syria responded positively to the ceasefire, despite strained relations between Russia and the USA. An American official said: "This remains…the most promising way…to try to get this terrible situation to a better place." The US Secretary of State said: "It is an opportunity and not more than that until it becomes a reality." Russia's Foreign Minister said the US and Russia had agreed on joint "strikes against terrorists". Turkey and the European Union welcomed this but warned that more action was needed. There has been no official reaction from Iran.

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