MOSCOW, February 19. /TASS/. An agreement to join the cessation of hostilities agreements has been signed with the settlement of Ram Jabal in the Homs region in the past 24 hours, the Russian center for reconciliation of warring sides in Syria said on Saturday in a daily news bulletin.
"The number of populated localities that joined the reconciliation process in Syria has increased to 1,260," says the bulletin posted on the Russian Defense Ministry’s website.
Negotiations to stop hostilities have been ongoing with units of armed opposition in the regions of Aleppo, Damascus, Hama, Homs and Quneitra. The number of armed groups that pledged their commitments to accepting and fulfilling the conditions of the cessation of hostilities in line with the truce agreement of 27 February 2016 remained unchanged - 110, the bulletin says.
The number of populated localities liberated by the Syrian government forces from armed units of the Islamic State international terrorist organization (outlawed in Russia - TASS) since 1 January 2017 has not changed either, totaling 51.
Over the past 24 hours, the government forces regained control over 8.4 square kilometers. Overall, 1,729.6 square kilometers have been liberated since January 1, 2017.
The number of armed units of Syrian opposition that had joined the cessation of hostilities agreements remained unchanged - 64.
Russian officers of the Russian-Turkish joint commission set up to monitor violations of the nationwide agreement in Syria reported five ceasefire violations in the regions of Hama (3), Latakia (1) and Idlib (1) over the past 24 hours. Turkish counterparts reported about 23 violations in the regions of Hama (7), Daraa (6), Idlib (5), Aleppo (3) and Homs (2).
Looking into these facts, Russian officers confirmed seven breaches of the cessation of hostilities, whereas the other 16 cases were not confirmed.
The nationwide ceasefire came into force on 30 December 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 23 February 2016. 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.