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43 armed groups committed to Syria ceasefire — Russian Defense Ministry

March 17, 2016, 20:14 UTC+3

The total number of settlements in Damascus Governorate where a ceasefire has been agreed with their leadership has remained the same — 51

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© Valery Sharifulin/TASS

MOSCOW, March 17./TASS/. The number of armed groups stating their commitment to the ceasefire terms has reached 43, the Russian Defense Ministry said on Thursday.

‘Within 24 hours, an application has been received from commander of one of the units operating in Homs province. Thus, the number of armed formations declaring their commitment to terms of a cessation of hostilities has reached 43," the ministry said in a report posted on its website.

Negotiations are in progress with the elders of two settlements in Damascus Governorate. "The total number of settlements where a ceasefire has been agreed with their leadership, has remained the same - 51," the ministry said.

9 violations of ceasefire regime registered in Syria over day

The ceasefire regime in Syria has been violated nine times over the past 24 hours, a news bulletin of the center for reconciliation of the warring sides in Syria posted on the Russian Defense Ministry’s website said.

"Three violations have been registered in each of the governorates of Aleppo, Damascus and Idlib," the document said.

"Militants of the Liva Sultan Murad armed formation, which ranks itself among the opposition, twice opened mortar fire on the Kurdish self-defense detachments in the Sheikh Maksoud neighborhood (Aleppo) from the districts of Ashrafia, Sakan-Shababi, Heloki Haidaria," the ministry said.

"Unknown armed formations opened fire from mortars and small arms at the inhabited localities of Zibdin, Jaubari Beit-Naem (Damascus Governorate). Shelling of the besieged inhabited locality of Fua (Idlib Governorate) continued," the bulletin said.

Besides, according to the center’s data, reports on abductions of people keep arriving. According to local residents, Jabhat al-Nusra terrorist group militants hold over 30 people in a prison in Idlib for ransom.

Russia’s Aerospace Forces started delivering pinpoint strikes in Syria at facilities of the Islamic State and Jabhat al-Nusra terrorist organizations, which are banned in Russia, on September 30, 2015, on a request from Syrian President Bashar Assad.

On March 14, 2016, Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered to start, from March 15, withdrawing the main part of the Russian Aerospace Forces’ group from Syria. Putin said the tasks set before the military "have been fulfilled on the whole." Russian Deputy Defense Minister Nikolai Pankov said strikes on terrorists will continue to be delivered.

The ceasefire regime took effect in Syria at the start of day on February 27. An hour before, the UN Security Council adopted a resolution supporting a cessation of hostilities. The document drafted by Russia and the United States was backed by all 15 Security Council member states.

The ceasefire regime does not cover the Islamic State and Jabhat al-Nusra terrorist organizations as well as other groups ruled terrorist by the Security Council.

The United Nations has noted that the ceasefire regime, despite separate cases of violations, has been observed on the whole and has led to a considerable reduction of the level of violence in Syria.

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