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Ceasefire in Syria violated twice in 24 hours — Russia’s Defense Ministry

May 29, 1:04 UTC+3 MOSCOW
Russia’s Aerospace Force and Syria’s Air Force have not been delivering strikes on opposition armed units that had announced the cessation of hostilities
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© Anton Novoderezhkin / TASS

MOSCOW, May 28. /TASS/. The ceasefire largely holds in most of Syria’s regions, in the past 24 hours two violations have been registered in the Damascus region, the Russian center for reconciliation of opposing sides in Syria said in a daily news bulletin posted on the Russian Defense Ministry’s website on Saturday.

"Detachment of Jabhat al-Nusra, which ranks itself among the opposition, opened mortar fire on the residential locality of Marj al-Sultan and positions of the Syrian Armed Forces near the village of Harasta," the bulletin said.

Russia’s Aerospace Force and Syria’s Air Force have not been delivering strikes on opposition armed units that had announced the cessation of hostilities and reported their location to the Russian or U.S. reconciliation centers.

The center said that in the past 24 hours ceasefire agreements had been concluded with representatives of three residential localities in the Aleppo region, "the number of residential localities that joined the ceasefire agreement has increased to 125."

Talks are underway with field commanders of armed opposition units in the Damascus and Homs regions.

"The number of armed detachments that announced their adherence to accepting and fulfilling the conditions of cessation of hostilities remained unchanged - 60," the center said in the bulletin.

The ceasefire has been effective in Syria since February 27, 2016. It does not apply to the groups Islamic State and Jabhat al-Nusra (both outlawed in Russia), and also to other groups declared as terrorist by the UN Security Council. Russia’s aviation grouping has been delivering air strikes against the Islamic State terrorist organization in Syria since September 30, 2015 at the request of Syria’s President Bashar Assad. On February 23 a Russian reconciliation center was set up at the Hmeimim air base in the Latakia region. It was set up to facilitate the negotiations between the Syrian government and opposition and to organize humanitarian deliveries.

Humanitarian deliveries to Syrians

Russia’s center for reconciliation of opposing sides in Syria said in a daily news bulletin on Saturday that new humanitarian cargoes have been readied for civilian population amid provocations staged by terrorists.

"Humanitarian aid convoys are being readied for residents of the Aleppo, Homs and Damascus regions," says the document published on the Russian Defense Ministry’s website.

Along with this, it says that "in Eastern Ghouta and Darayya, the suburb in Damascus, the ‘regime of calm’ is effective after being extended for 48 hours."

Jabhat al-Nusra goes ahead with provocations

Detachments of the Jabhat al-Nusra international terrorist group continue their provocative activities aimed at disrupting the cessation of hostilities, the bulletin said.

"Over the past 24 hours, multiple rocket launchers and mortars were bombarding the residential locality of Handrat, the districts of Sheikh Maqsood and al-Khalidiya, Al-Nayrab airport in the city of Aleppo," the bulletin reads. "In the Latakia province Jabhat al-Nusra terrorist units delivered strikes on the residential localities of Rasha, Ard al-Vata and Kermel."

Combatants of the Islamic State terrorist group (outlawed in Russia) mounted an offensive against the Free Syrian Army near the village of Azaz in the Aleppo region and seized control over five villages.

"Near the residential locality of Ayn-Dakna the Kurdish self-defense forces halted the terrorists’ advance," it said.

Cessation of hostilities

Russia joined the operation against terrorists in Syria on September 30, 2015 at the request of Syrian president Bashar Assad. Ceasefire took effect in Syria on February 27, 2016. It had been agreed by Russia and the United States. The ceasefire does not apply to the groups Islamic State and Jabhat al-Nusra (both outlawed in Russia), and also other groups declared terrorist by the UN Security Council.

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