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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Iran Press TV

US-Russia call for late February truce in Syria

Iran Press TV

Mon Feb 22, 2016 5:42PM

A draft deal reached between Russia and the United States has called for a ceasefire to start in Syria in late February.

Diplomatic sources said on Monday that the truce would start on February 27, 2016 and would exclude two major militant groups in Syria, namely Daesh and Nusra Front.

One western source, speaking on condition of anonymity, confirmed a previous report saying that the draft deal calls on warring sides in Syria to agree to the cessation of hostilities by midday on February 26. Another anonymous source, however, was unable to confirm the accuracy of the reports.

US Secretary of state John Kerry said on Sunday that he and his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, had reached a provisional agreement on the 'cessation of hostilities' in Syria. He said the sides were closer to a ceasefire than ever before.

"We have reached a provisional agreement in principle on the terms of a cessation of hostilities that could begin in the coming days," Kerry said during a visit to the Jordanian capital of Amman, adding, 'The modalities for a cessation of hostilities are now being completed. In fact, we are closer to a ceasefire today than we have been."

Kerry said Washington and Moscow were 'filling out the details' of the agreement. He said the presidents of US and Russia are expected to talk in the coming days to complete the provisional agreement in principle.

Syria is in the midst of deadly militancy with government forces and allies, backed by Russia's air cover, continuing to battle terrorist groups across the Arab country. Forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad have managed over the past few weeks to recapture major positions from Daesh and Nusra front in the north.

Assad said on Saturday that he was ready for a ceasefire in case the terrorists did not use it to advance their ambitions and that countries backing them stop their support.

More than 470,000 people have reportedly been killed and millions displaced in nearly five years of fighting in Syria.

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