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MOSCOW, February 4. /TASS/. Three Syrian populated localities have agreed to halt hostilities in the past 24 hours, the Russian center for reconciliation of warring sides in Syria said on Saturday in a daily news bulletin.
"Over the past 24 hours, three agreements have been signed that the settlements of Western Fuarsayat, Eastern Fuarsayat in the Latakia province and Al-Tell in the Damascus province have agreed to the cessation of hostilities. The number of populated localities that joined the reconciliation process in Syria has increased to 1,192," the bulletin says.
"Talks on joining the cessation of hostilities are ongoing with the field commanders of armed opposition units in the provinces of Aleppo, Damascus, Hama, Homs and Quneitra," it said.
"The number of armed groups that pledged their commitments to accepting and fulfilling the conditions of the ‘cessation of hostilities’ agreement of 27 February 2016 has remained unchanged - 109," it said. "In the past 24 hours, the government forces have regained control over 32.5 square kilometers. Overall, 1,022.3 square kilometers have been liberated since January 1, 2017."
"In the past 24 hours, the Syrian government forces have liberated one populated locality (Aran) in the Aleppo province from armed units of the Islamic State international terrorist organization," the bulletin reads. "The number of populated localities liberated by the Syrian government forces from armed units of the Islamic State international terrorist organization since 1 January 2017 has increased to 30."
The Russian reconciliation center said that in line with the agreement reached on 30 December 2016, the nationwide truce has been in effect in Syria. The number of armed units of the Syrian opposition that agreed to the ceasefire has remained unchanged - 64.
"Russian officials of the Russian-Turkish joint commission set up to monitor violations of the nationwide agreement in Syria reported five ceasefire violations in the provinces of Hama (4) and Latakia (1) in the past 24 hours. Turkish officials registered eight violations of the agreement in the provinces of Aleppo (2), Idlib (2), Homs (2), Daraa (1) and Hama (1)," the bulletin said.
"An investigation into these facts established that the Russian side does not confirm the eight episodes of the violations," the bulletin said.
The nationwide ceasefire came into force on December 30, 2016 in line with the truce deal sealed in an effort to find 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 agreed to the ceasefire. Russia and Turkey act as its 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.