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Russia and US introduce ceasefire regime in Latakia’s north

April 29, 14:39 UTC+3
The ceasefire will come into effect at 00:01am on 30 April 2016 and will be effective for 72 hours
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© Sergei Bobylev/TASS

HMEIMIM (Syria), April 29. /TASS/. Ceasefire regime is introduced in the north of the Syrian province of Latakia for 72 hours starting April 30, head of Russian center for reconciliation in Syria Sergey Kuralenko told reporters on Friday.

"Russia and the US are introducing a ceasefire regime in the northern part of the Latakia province for 72 hours starting 00:01am on 30 April 2016, upon coordination with leadership of the Syrian Arab Republic," Kuralenko said.

"During this time, any kind of military activity and use of all types of weapons will be prohibited," he added.

Kuralenko called on all sides interested in achieving peace in Syria to "support the Russian-US initiative and to prevent the disruption of ceasefire."

Jabhat al-Nusra and its supporters trying to disrupt Syrian truce

According to the official, the Jabhat al-Nusra (terrorist group outlawed in Russia) groups and its backers are trying to disrupt the peaceful settlement process in Syria, they are staging provocations to fan tensions in the northern areas of Latakia province and in Aleppo.

"There are forces, above all, Jabhat al-Nusra designated as a terrorist organization by Resolution 2249 of the UN Security Council and its patrons who are not interested in the stabilization of the situation in Syria and are making efforts to disrupt the peaceful settlement process in the country. Provocations from their side aimed at escalating tensions in the northern areas of Latakia province and in Aleppo continue," Kuralenko said.

About 6,500 militants have joined Syria ceasefire from February

Kuralenko pointed out that about 6,500 gunmen from 52 paramilitary units have joined the cessation of hostilities regime in Syria since the Russian center for reconciliation of the warring parties was set up.

"Since the Russian center for reconciliation was opened, 52 paramilitary units with a total strength of 6,500 people and operating in the provinces of As-Suwayda, Quneitra, Hama, Homs, Damascus, Daraa and Aleppo, have joined the ceasefire," the top military said.

"Former militants have returned to peaceful life. On the whole, this has had a positive effect on the development of the situation in these provinces," Kuralenko said.

He said ceasefire monitoring showed that truce held largely and no ‘sliding’ towards renewed warfare was seen. This has given a chance to start restoration of destroyed infrastructure and offer render humanitarian aid, he continued.

"The process continues in which armed opposition groups and entire settlements join the regime. Representatives from 74 settlements have applied to the Russian Centre over joining the reconciliation process - 43 settlements in Hama province, 16 in Homs province, five in Damascus province and the same number in the Deraa and Aleppo provinces," he said.

Kuralenko said preliminary agreements were reached earlier on Friday with another six settlements in Hama, demonstrating a bid to join the ceasefire regime.

The ceasefire regime took effect in Syria on February 27. Shortly 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.

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