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Russian Defense Ministry reports increased Jabhat al-Nusra activities in Syria

April 19, 21:23 UTC+3 MOSCOW
Terrorists staged two offensives against the government forces over the past day
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© AP Photo/Hussein Malla

MOSCOW, April 19. /TASS/. The Russian military reports increased activities of the Jabhat al-Nusra terrorist group in Syria, the Russian center for reconciliation of the warring parties in Syria said in its regular daily update posted on the Russian defense ministry’s Facebook account.

"The intensity of combat activities of the Jabhat al-Nusra terrorist group is reportedly increasing in northeastern territories of the province of Latakia. Terrorists staged two offensives against the government forces during the past day," the center said.

"After one of such attacks staged after an intense bombardment supported by tanks and armored vehicle, militants managed to seize the settlement of Herbet al-Arous. The militants’ attempt to seize the settlement of Salma has been rebuffed. Having sustained losses, the terrorists retreated to their initial positions," the center said.

"Positions of the Turkish army near the settlement of Metishli located in Turkey came under mortar shelling by militants from the village of Ain Shammas," the center said. "These provocative actions were meant to force Turkish servicemen open retaliation fire and ultimately break down the peace process in Syria."

Damascus’ district of Basatin Abu Jarash twice came under mortar shelling by militants.

A ceasefire regime brokered by Russia and the United States on February 22 officially came into effect in Syria at midnight Damascus time on February 27. This does not cover terrorist groups such as Islamic State and Jabhat al-Nusra, both outlawed in Russia, and other groups recognized as terrorist by the United Nations Security Council.

An hour before the ceasefire came into force, the United Nations Security Council adopted a resolution in support cessation of hostilities in Syria. The document was initiated by Russia and the United States and won support from all the 15 members of the United Nations Security Council.

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