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Iran Press TV

Russia sticking to Syria de-escalation agreements

Iran Press TV

Wed Jun 27, 2018 02:22PM

Russian authorities have rejected media reports about Moscow's alleged withdrawal from agreements to maintain de-escalation zones in Syria.

Russia's Defense Ministry said Wednesday that Moscow had not abandoned one such deal in southern Syria as claimed by a Turkish news agency.

"The report by Turkey's Anadolu news agency citing a fake web page of the Hmeymim air base on social networks regarding Russia's alleged "pullout from an agreement on the southern de-escalation zone" does not correspond to reality," said a statement from the ministry.

Russia, along with Iran and Turkey, agreed last year to help create areas in Syria where fighting could ease. The initiative was meant to help end more than seven years of bloodshed in the Arab country.

The state-run Anadolu, the main outlet for the Turkish government's international news agenda, said earlier on Wednesday that Russia had stopped adhering to its commitments regarding a southern Syrian de-escalation zone. The news agency cited a fake page of the Hmeymim air base for its report.

However, the Russian Defense Ministry said Hmeymim, from where Russia carries out most of its military operations in Syria, had no website to represent the Russian military.

"The Russian air base in Hmeymim in the Syrian Arab Republic doesn't have any websites or pages on social networks," it said, adding that the ministry representatives in Syria or its official Internet sources were solely responsible for all information on Russian military operations in the Arab country.

Turkey has been a main supporter of militants fighting the Syrian government since the conflict began in 2011. Russia, however, has been assisting Syria's anti-terror operation since late 2015.

The claims by Turkey's Anadolu came against the backdrop of advances made by the Syrian military and allies in southern Syria. Pro-government forces have managed to retake key areas from militants around the capital Damascus over the past months.

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