MOSCOW, January 19. /TASS/. More than 50 civilians and about 50 Syrian soldiers have been killed in militants’ attacks since January 16, chief of the Russian Center for Reconciliation of the Opposing Parties in Syria, Yuri Borenkov, said on Sunday.
"Since January 16, 2020, as many as 47 Syrian soldiers have been killed and 77 more have been wounded in attacks staged by militants. A total of 51 civilians have been killed and 166 have been injured," he said.
According to Borenkov, militants in Syria are using regular weapons and munitions of NATO member nations. "Whereas previously, illegal armed groups used mostly self-made weapons and munitions, now they are making a wide use of regular munitions and weapons of NATO countries," he said.
He also said that since January 16 Syrian government troops had come under militants’ attacks in the Idlib de-escalation zone 16 times. "Over this period, terrorist groups have staged as many as 253 shelling attacks on populated localities. This is the most serious outburst of tensions after May 2019," he stressed.
Four de-escalation zones were established in Syria under as agreement reached by the three Syrian ceasefire guarantor nations, namely Russia, Iran and Turkey, in May 2017. Three of them are now controlled by Damascus while the fourth one located in the Idlib governorate and partially in the neighboring Latakia, Hama and Aleppo governorates is still outside Damascus’ control, with a larger part of it being seized by Jabhat al-Nusra (a terrorist organization outlawed in Russia) militants.