Russia: Continued infiltration of terrorists to Syria threatens cessation of hostilities agreement

Moscow, SANA-Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu warned that the continued infiltration of terrorists belonging to Jabhat al-Nusra and ISIS through the Turkish-Syrian border threatens the cessation of hostilities agreement in Syria.

In a speech today in Moscow about combating terrorism, the Russian Minister called on the US as a partner in monitoring the cessation of hostilities agreement in Syria to continue to communicate with the “moderate opposition” and impel it to join the agreement and to identify areas which they are located in and to distance themselves from al-Nusra and other terrorist organizations.

The Russian Minister said Russia suggests that starting from May 25, joint operations of the Russian Air Force and the US-led aviation will be launched to deliver strikes against Jabhat al-Nusra and other Takfiri terrorist organizations that are rejecting the cessation of hostilities agreement, and also against convoys which are illegally crossing the Syrian-Turkish border and in these operations exclude strikes against civilian targets, villages, towns and cities.

He affirmed that these measures are coordinated with the leadership of the Syrian Arab Republic, adding that taking these measures will prepare the ground for the settlement of the crisis and a cessation of hostilities in all Syrian areas.

Shoigu pointed out that his country has begun to coordinate these measures with the US center in Amman and Geneva.

“Despite some violations by terrorist groups, the cessation of hostilities agreement is in general observed in most Syrian provinces. Main violations of the agreement are committed from time to time in Lattakia and other areas in the north of Syria and are connected with attempts of Jabhat al-Nusra and other terrorist groups,” he noted.

The Russian Minister said that the Russian Coordination Center in Hmeimim is continuing its reconciliation efforts, adding that leaders of 59 factions of the armed groups had joined the agreement and reconciliation was achieved in 112 Syrian towns.

He pointed out that the Russian troops contributed to restoring normal life in Palmyra city where the Russian demining experts are carrying out their missions, adding that 19,000 mines which were planted in 850 hectares in the city were dismantled.

He said that the Russian demining experts returned to Russia and only a group of Russian Combat Engineers are still in Palmyra city to train the Syrian engineers.

Manar al-Frieh/Manal

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