Western Powers Call on Damascus, Hizbullah to ‘Stop Wadi Barada Attacks’

In this Saturday, May 9, 2015 photo, a Hezbollah fighter walks towards a tent inside a position that used to be run by members of the Nusra Front, al-Qaida's branch in Syria, two days after it was captured by Lebanese militants in the fields of the Syrian border town of Assal al-Ward. Hezbollah commanders promised further advances they say protect Lebanon. But in Lebanon, worries persist that Hezbollah's battlefield successes only further entangle the tiny country in Syria's violence, risking attacks back home as well. (AP Photo/Bassem Mroue)

Western powers have called on the Syrian regime and Hizbullah to “stop their attacks” in the Wadi Barada region near Damascus, a media report said on Sunday.

All the ambassadors of the Western powers agreed during a U.N. Security Council vote on Saturday that a passed resolution should be a “strong message to Damascus and Hizbullah to stop their attacks on Wadi Barada and the rest of the regions,” the pan-Arab daily al-Hayat said.

On Saturday, Russia and Turkey secured unanimous passage of a U.N. resolution backing their efforts to “jumpstart” talks aimed at ending the nearly six-year conflict in Syria.

The Security Council resolution aims to pave the way for talks next month in Kazakhstan’s capital Astana, under the aegis of Russia and Iran — both Syrian government supporters — and of rebel backer Turkey.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based monitor of the war, said most of Syria remained calm in the weekend, despite limited clashes.

The government in Damascus called the ceasefire a “real opportunity” to find a political solution to a war that has claimed more than 310,000 lives and displaced millions since it began in March 2011 with protests against the regime of President Bashar Assad.

Clashes were reported around Wadi Barada near Damascus, and the southern city of Daraa, where one opposition fighter was killed.

The fighting in Wadi Barada has led to water shortages that have affected four million people in the capital.

Five rebel fighters and two civilians have been killed in Wadi Barada and the rebel bastion of Eastern Ghouta near Damascus since the truce started on Friday, said Syrian Observatory director Rami Abdel Rahman.

The forces in Wadi Barada include Fateh al-Sham Front, previously known as al-Nusra Front. That group and the Islamic State group are excluded from the truce.