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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Syrian Ceasefire Begins at 16:00 GMT on Monday - Russian Defense Ministry

Sputnik News

18:07 12.09.2016(updated 21:14 12.09.2016)

The ceasefire in Syria agreed by Russia and the United States has begun at 16:00 GMT, the Russian General Staff announced Monday.

"In line with the [Russia-US] agreements, the ceasefire regime on the whole territory of the Syrian Arab Republic comes into force on Monday at 19:00 pm Moscow time [16:00 GMT]," Chief of the General Staff's Main Operational Directorate Lt. Gen. Sergei Rudskoy said.

Moreover, Russia and the US are setting up a joint center to designate terrorist targets in Syria. Russian military jets will continue to carry out strikes against terrorist targets, he said.

"The Russian Aerospace Forces will continue airstrikes against terrorist targets in Syria. The Russian and US sides create a joint center that will help coordinate strikes by Russian and US-led coalition's aircraft to designate targets."

The Russian general emphasized that the fight against terrorist groups, Daesh and Jabhat Fatah Al-Sham, formerly known as al-Nusra Front, "will continue regardless of any changes of names."

Damascus has agreed to abide by the ceasefire deal and halt military operations, he said.

"The Syrian side has been informed of the conditions of the agreement. [Damascus] has agreed to strictly observe it."

Russia will use drones to monitor Syrian ceasefire, Lt. Gen. Sergei Rudkoy said. "We have all means and possibilities to receive objective information on situation on the ground."

The Russian Defense Ministry expects all groups backed by the US to abide by the ceasefire deal. Moscow called on the Free Syrian Army backed by Turkey to stop fighting against Kurds near the Aleppo province.

The Russian center on Syrian reconciliation said that the US has not yet provided information about al-Nusra Front targets' locations in combat zone.

On Friday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and US Secretary of State John Kerry announced a new plan aimed at reducing violence in Syria, which includes a week-long ceasefire that is expected to evolve into a permanent cessation of hostilities.

The agreement also includes the creation of a demilitarized zone around Syria's Aleppo to deliver humanitarian aid to the city, as well as close coordination of Russian and US airstrikes against Jabhat Fatah Al-Sham, formerly known as al-Nusra Front, and Daesh terrorist groups operating in Syria.


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