MOSCOW, January 10. /TASS/. Russia and its counterparts’ efforts have paved the way to the Astana talks on settling the Syrian conflict, Russian Defense Minister Army General Sergei Shoigu said at a meeting with the high-ranking officers of the Russian Armed Forces.
"The efforts of Russia, the Syrian army and our counterparts, who joined this difficult mission, have paved the way to the Astana meeting and the political process of negotiations on a ceasefire in Syria," the minister added.
Shoigu pointed out that Russia’s Aerospace Force had suspended all operations on Syria’s territory except airstrikes on the outlawed in Russia Islamic State and Jabhat al-Nusra terror groups’ targets. "As far as other goals are concerned, the operation (against terrorists active in Syria) is underway, and I hope that our other counterparts will join it. I mean other countries’ air forces," he said.
A ceasefire in Syria took effect on December 30, 2016. Syria’s government and several groups of armed opposition joined the ceasefire agreements. Russia and Turkey guarantee the ceasefire. However, the agreements do not apply to operations against terrorists, including the Islamic State group.