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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Iran Press TV

Russia creates military posts to monitor ceasefire in safe zone in Syria

Iran Press TV

Mon Jul 24, 2017 5:12PM

The Russian army says it has established military posts in order to monitor the ceasefire in a safe zone in the eastern suburbs of Syrian capital Damascus.

Colonel General Sergei Rudskoi, the head of the Russian General Staff's Main Operations Department, made the remarks in a press conference on Monday, saying Moscow had set up two check-points and four monitoring posts in the area known as the Eastern Ghouta district near Damascus.

Rudskoi's comments came a week after the Russian Defense Ministry said that the Syrian army and the armed opposition groups had reached an agreement on the exact boundaries of the de-escalation zone.

Back in early May, Iran, Russia and Turkey signed an agreement, proposed by Moscow, on creating four de-escalation zones in four areas in northern, central and southern Syria, where the most intense fighting is underway between the Syrian government and different militant outfits.

The four safe regions are situated across eight of Syria's 14 provinces. The first zone includes the northwestern province of Idlib, the western province of Latakia, the west-central province of Hama, and the northern province of Aleppo.

The second zone covers the northern parts of the central Homs Province. The third zone encompasses the Eastern Ghouta district near the capital Damascus, while the fourth zone includes southern Syria, particularly Dara'a and Quneitra provinces.

The four zones are only safe for the so-called armed opposition factions and exclude the Takfiri terrorist groups of Daesh and the Jabhat Fateh al-Sham, formerly known as al-Nusra Front.

Under the agreement, Syrian warplanes would halt sorties over designated areas across the war-torn country.

Elsewhere in his remarks, Rudskoi said that since June 1, the Syria Arab Army had regained control over 150 kilometers of border with Iraq, and further restricted the capabilities of the Takfiri Daesh terrorist group in movement of its militants and arms.

He added that during the previous two months some 20,000 square meters of the Arab country's territory had been liberated from the clutches of the terror group.

"In the northeast of Aleppo province, in the area of the Euphrates River, the Syrian armed forces continue an offensive against the Daesh terrorists. At least 55 populated areas were liberated in the region since June 1," Rudskoi further said.

Moscow launched its campaign against Daesh and other terror outfits in Syria at the Damascus government's request in September 2015. Its airstrikes have helped Syrian forces advance against militant groups fighting to overthrow President Bashar Assad's government.

Syria has been fighting different foreign-sponsored militant and terrorist groups since March 2011. UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura estimated last August that more than 400,000 people had been killed in the crisis until then.

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