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Syrian government troops take control of area of about 150 sq km in past day

February 05, 19:45 UTC+3
As many as 32 populated localities have been liberated from Islamic State militants since January 1, 2017, as follows from the bulletin
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MOSCOW, February 5. /TASS/. Syrian government troops have liberated an area of some 150 square kilometers over the past 24 hours, the Russian center for reconciliation of the warring parties in Syria said in its regular daily news bulletin posted on the official website of the Russian defense ministry on Sunday.

"During the day, an area of 145.5 square kilometers came under control of government troops. In all, an overall area of 1,167.8 square kilometers has been liberated," the center said.

As many as 32 populated localities have been liberated from Islamic State militants since January 1, 2017, as follows from the bulletin.

According to the bulletin, agreements on joining cessation of hostilities were signed with a number of settlements, namely Ain Terma and Jisrein in the province of Damascus, Bahdarmu al-Tahta in the province of Latakia. "The overall number of Syrian settlement that have joined the reconciliation process has reached 1,195," the center said, adding that no new agreements on joining ceasefire were signed with field commanders of armed groups.

Russian officers in the Russian-Turkish joint commission set up to monitor ceasefire violations in Syria reported three ceasefire violations. Turkish officers reported seven ceasefire violations, including five - in the province of Damascus. "After a probe, the Russian side found no confirmation to seven ceasefire episodes," the Russian reconciliation center said.

The nationwide ceasefire came into force across Syria at midnight on December 30, 2016 under the agreement on a complex solution to the Syria crisis. Syrian government forces and groups of armed opposition with an overall strength of more than 60,000 have joined the agreement. Russia and Turkey act as the ceasefire guarantors. Ceasefire does not cover terrorist groups, such as Islamic State.

The Russian Defense Ministry declared the establishment of the reconciliation center on February 23. It is headquartered at the Hmeimim air base, Latakia province. The center was set up in line with agreements reached by Russia and the United States to facilitate the negotiations between the Syrian government and opposition and to organize humanitarian deliveries.

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