(TASS) Two populated localities in Syria, Inkhil in the Daraa region and Naba al-Fawwar in the Quneitra region, have signed cessation of hostilities agreements in the past 24 hours, the Russian center for reconciliation of warring sides in Syria said on Sunday in a daily news bulletin.
“The number of populated localities that joined the reconciliation process in Syria has increased to 1,475,” the bulletin said. “Negotiations to join the cessation of hostilities agreement are underway with armed opposition units in the provinces of Aleppo, Damascus, Hama, Homs and Quneitra.”
“The number of armed groups that pledged their commitment to accepting and fulfilling the conditions of a cessation of hostilities in line with the ceasefire agreement of 27 February 2016 has not changed, totaling 143,” the document reads.
The number of populated localities liberated by Syrian government forces from armed units of Islamic State terrorist organization (banned in Russia – TASS) has remained unchanged – 236.
Nevertheless, the government forces have retaken 16 square kilometers. Overall, 4,629 square kilometers have been liberated.
In addition, 65 armed groups agreed to stop fighting and to join the cessation of hostilities agreement that came into force at midnight of 30 December 2016 in line with the truce agreement achieved in an effort to find a complex solution to the conflict in Syria.
Over the past 24 hours, Russia’s presentation at the Russian-Turkish joint commission, set up to monitor ceasefire violations, registered 15 violations of the nationwide ceasefire in the provinces of Damascus (9), Latakia (3), Hama (2) and Daraa (1). Turkish counterparts reported 12 breaches in the regions of Aleppo (5), Damascus (2), Daraa (2), Hama (2) and Homs (1), but none has been confirmed by Russian officers.
The nationwide ceasefire came into force on 30 December 2016 in line with the truce deal sealed in an effort to find a complex solution to the Syria crisis. Syrian government forces and groups of armed opposition with an overall strength of more than 60,000 have agreed to the ceasefire.
Russia and Turkey act as its guarantors. Ceasefire does not cover terrorist groups, such as Islamic State.
The Russian Defense Ministry declared the establishment of the reconciliation center on 23 February 2016. It is headquartered at the Hmeimim air base, Latakia province. The center was set up in line with agreements reached by Russia and the United States to facilitate the negotiations between the Syrian government and opposition and to organize humanitarian deliveries.