More than 1,130 Syrian settlements have joined the regime of cessation of hostilities, commander of the Russian force in that country, Andrei Kartapolov, said on Tuesday.

 

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“Thanks to our officers, as many as 1,134 populated localities throughout Syria have joined the regime of cessation of hostilities. Efforts are being taken to offer humanitarian assistance to the population and resume peaceful life in territories liberated from militants as soon as possible,” he said.

 

On Monday, the Russian center for reconciliation of the warring parties in Syria reported that 1,129 settlements had joined the ceasefire regime.

 

“Specialists from the Russian armed forces’ international anti-mine center continue demining operations in Aleppo. As of now, more than 24,000 various explosive objects have been neutralized and an area of more than 1,600 hectares has been cleared of mines. It has made it possible for thousands of civilians to return to their homes,” Kartapolov said.

 

Currently, Russia has an aviation group based at the Hmeymim aerodrome and a naval logistics center with a marine at the port of Tartus.

 

The nationwide ceasefire came into force across Syria at midnight on December 30, 2016 under the agreement on 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 joined the agreement. Russia and Turkey act as the ceasefire guarantors. Ceasefire does not cover terrorist groups, such as Islamic State.

 

The Russian Defense Ministry declared the establishment of the reconciliation center on February 23. 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.