MOSCOW, March 5. /TASS/. Two populated localities have joined the ceasefire in the Syrian province of Hama in the past day, the Russian center for reconciliation of the warring parties in Syria said in its regular daily news bulletin on Sunday.
"The overall number of Syrian settlements that have joined the reconciliation process has reached 1,294," the center said. "Talks on joining cessation of hostilities were continued with armed opposition groups in the provinces of Damascus, Homs, Hama, Aleppo and al-Quneitra. The number of armed groups that declared their commitment to the ceasefire terms of the agreement on cessation of hostilities of February 27, 2016 remains unchanged - 115." 0. The number Syrian opposition armed groups that have joined cessation of hostilities also remained unchanged - 64, as follows from the bulletin.
According to the bulletin, Syria’s government troops regained control of an area of 522.7 square kilometers during the day. In all, an overall area of 2,690.4 square kilometers has been liberated since January 1, 2017. The number of settlements liberated by Syrian government troops from Islamic State groups since January 1, 2017 has reached 99.
The number of Syrian opposition armed groups that have joined cessation of hostilities remained unchanged - 64, as follows from the bulletin.
"During the day, Russian officers in the Russian-Turkish joint commission set up to monitor ceasefire violations in Syria reported six ceasefire violations in the provinces of Latakia (two) and Damascus (four). Turkish officers reported 15 ceasefire violations, namely one - in the province of Damascus, one - in the province of Idlib, two - in the province Hama, five - in the province of Homs, and six - in the province of Aleppo," the center said, adding that following a check into these reports, the Russian side found confirmation to only one violation reported by the Turkish side.
The nationwide ceasefire came into force across Syria at midnight on December 30, 2016 under the agreement on 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 joined the agreement. Russia and Turkey act as the ceasefire 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, 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.