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Syria Reconciliation Center confirms extension of ceasefire in Aleppo

May 10, 13:03 UTC+3
According to the head of the Russian Center for Reconciliation of the warring sides in Syria, the ceasefire regime in the city area has "significantly reduced tensions and ceasefire violations"
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© Valeriy Sharifulin/TASS

HMEIMIM (Syria), May 10. /TASS/. The ceasefire regime in the Syrian city of Aleppo has been extended for 48 hours from 00:01 am on May 10 by agreement with the leadership of the Syrian Arab Republic and the moderate opposition, as well as the Russian and American sides, head of the Russian Center for Reconciliation of the warring sides in Syria Lieutenant General Sergey Kuralenko said on Tuesday.

The SANA news agency earlier reported the ceasefire regime extension in Aleppo with reference to the Syrian Armed Forces’ Command. Hostilities were ceased in Aleppo last Thursday. The ceasefire has previously been extended for 72 hours.

"By agreement with the leadership of the Syrian Arab Republic and the moderate opposition, with the Russian and American sides, the ceasefire regime in Aleppo has been extended for another 48 hours starting 00:01 am, May 10, 2016," Kuralenko said.

Kuralenko added that the ceasefire regime in the city area has "significantly reduced tensions and cut the total number of ceasefire violations" in the country.

Aleppo, Syria’s biggest city, has been split into two parts since 2012. Its western part, which gives shelter to most of its residents and is home to Syrian Christians, is controlled by the Syrian government army whereas its eastern part is controlled by about twenty armed groups.

The situation in the city deteriorated last week as a result of continuous bombardments by armed groups. According to the Al-Hayat newspaper, more than 140 civilians (including 19 children) have been killed and more than 700 have been wounded in shelling.

The ceasefire has been effective in Syria since February 27, 2016. It does not apply to the groups Islamic State and Jabhat al-Nusra, and also to other groups declared as terrorist by the UN Security Council. Russia’s aviation grouping has been delivering airstrikes against the Islamic State terrorist organization in Syria since September 30, 2015 at the request of Syria’s President Bashar Assad. Since 2014, the US-led coalition has also been delivering air strikes against militants in Syria and Iraq.

The Russian Defense Ministry declared the establishment of the reconciliation center on February 23. It is headquartered at the Khmeimim airbase, 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. Russia takes an active part in the Syrian settlement effort. It helps Syria's authorities fight terrorists and has conducted mine clearing work in the ancient city of Palmyra.

On March 14, 2016, Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered to start, from March 15, withdrawing the main part of the Russian Aerospace Forces’ group from Syria. Putin said the tasks set before the military "have been fulfilled on the whole." Russian Deputy Defense Minister Nikolai Pankov said strikes on terrorists will continue to be delivered.

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