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72-Hour Truce in Idlib, Moscow Continues to Attack ‘Terrorists’

72-Hour Truce in Idlib, Moscow Continues to Attack ‘Terrorists’

Sunday, 19 May, 2019 - 07:00
Smokes rise from Aleppo (Reuters)
Moscow – Raed Jabr
Official Russian circles avoided Saturday issuing a clear position on the temporary truce in Idlib as Moscow accused armed factions in the area of continuing to breach the ceasefire.

The Russian Defense Ministry did not comment on Saturday on reports published by official state media outlets quoting field sources in Syria as saying that a 72-hour truce was reached in Idlib and that the ceasefire will go into effect on Saturday night.

The sources did not offer further details about the truce.

Surprisingly, Moscow issued on Saturday a military statement saying: “Terrorists were continuing to violate the truce in Idlib.”

The chief of Russia's center for the reconciliation of conflicting parties in Syria, Major-General Viktor Kupchishin, said on Saturday that during the past 24 hours, illegitimate armed groups violated the ceasefire in the two provinces of Latakia and Aleppo.

The Novosti news agency quoted Kupchishin as saying that over the past day, terrorists attacked areas in the Latakia province and others in the Hama province.

Meanwhile, the Russian side of the Russian-Turkish commission monitoring the implementation of the Syrian ceasefire said it has registered 10 ceasefire violations in Syria over the past 24 hours, while the Turkish side has recorded 16 truce breaches, the Russian Ministry of Defense said in a daily bulletin on Saturday.

The Russian notice said that all violations registered by Moscow were in Latakia and Idlib while the Turkish side registered the violations in Idlib, Latakia, and Hama.

In September 2018, several areas in the countryside of Hama, Idlib, and the western countryside of Aleppo were included in the de-escalation zones deal, reached between Russia and Turkey.

However, late last month, the Syrian army started an operation against Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) in the northern countryside of Hama in central Syria and nearby Idlib, saying the attacks were a response to the rebels' assault and infiltration attempts into Syrian military sites in the region.

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