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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Iran Press TV

Russia opens coordination center at Latakia airbase

Iran Press TV

Tue Feb 23, 2016 6:2PM

Russia says it has opened a coordination center at its Hmeymim airbase in the Syrian province of Latakia in an attempt to facilitate talks between Damascus and different opposing parties.

Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov made the announcement on Tuesday.

"In accordance with the Russian-American agreements from Feb. 22 on the cessation of hostilities in Syria, to implement a monitoring mechanism for the ceasefire a coordination centre has been opened for the reconciliation of warring parties," Russian news agencies quoted him as saying.

Konashenkov, meanwhile, added that the opposition representatives do not include the Takfiri Daesh terror group and the al-Qaeda-linked al-Nusra Front.

The announcement came after the Syrian government said it accepted the terms of a ceasefire deal announced by the United States and Russia on Monday.

According to a statement released by the Syrian Foreign Ministry on Tuesday, the government accepts the agreement on the basis that military efforts against Daesh and al-Nusra continue.

Damascus would coordinate with Moscow to decide which groups and areas would be included in the 'cessation of hostilities' plan, which is due to take effect on February 27 according to the US-Russian plan, it said.

The Syrian military, however, reserves the right to 'respond to any breach by these groups against Syrian citizens or against its armed forces,' the statement added.

The government emphasized the importance of sealing the borders and halting foreign support to armed groups.

Over the past few weeks, Syrian government forces have managed to gain major positions from the foreign-backed militants in Syria.

Nearly five years of deadly turmoil have left more than 470,000 people killed and millions displaced, according to reports.

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