BEIRUT – Syrian rebels and government forces have agreed to a truce in an opposition-held area near the central city of Homs, activists said Saturday.
The cease-fire, which started on Friday, comes as troops loyal to President Bashar Assad are trying to seize as many rebel-held parts of major urban centers as possible ahead of the June 3 presidential elections.
Assad is widely expected to win a third, seven-year mandate.
The truce in Waer came as Assad thanked Russia, one of his top backers, for its support.
The state-run SANA news agency said Assad spoke during a meeting Saturday with Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin in Damascus.
Russia and China on Thursday vetoed a U.N. Security Council resolution referring the Syrian crisis to the International Criminal Court for investigation of possible war crimes.