Russian Ministry of Defence spokesperson Igor Konashenkov said that Moscow and Syrian opposition have agreed to create a new de-escalation zone in northern Homs, speaking in the Russian capital, Wednesday.

Konashenkov stated that the parties agreed that on “August 3 starting at 12.00 local time (9:00am GMT), the moderate opposition groups and the forces of the government troops completely stop the fire with all weapons.” He underlined that the ceasefire agreement did not apply to the Islamic State (IS; formerly ISIS/ISIL) and Jabhat al-Nusra groups.

SOT, Igor Konashenkov, Russian Defence Ministry spokesperson (Russian): “Following the meeting, agreements were reached on the functioning of the third de-escalation zone, north of the city of Homs. It includes more than 84 settlements with a population of more than 147,000 people. According to the agreement, today, August 3 starting at 12.00 local time, the moderate opposition groups and the forces of the government troops completely stop the fire with all weapons.”

SOT, Igor Konashenkov, Russian Defence Ministry spokesperson (Russian): “I emphasise that, as in existing areas of de-escalation, the cease of hostilities in the area of Homs does not apply to an Islamic State (IS; formerly ISIS/ISIL) and Jabhat Al-Nusra. Moreover, in accordance with the agreements, the moderate opposition has committed to the removal of all units which joined Islamic State (IS; formerly ISIS/ISIL) and Al-Nusra from all areas under its control in Homs Province.”

SOT, Igor Konashenkov, Russian Defence Ministry spokesperson (Russian): “Starting from August 4 along the contact line of de-escalation zone of Homs, Russian military police deploys two checkpoints in the Narb-Nafsa settlement and in the area of Aldwair. Also, there will be three observation posts: in Khmira, Qubeibat and Telmari.”

SOT, Igor Konashenkov, Russian Defence Ministry spokesperson (Russian): “On its part, the opposition will remove the blockade of the road going through the de-escalation zone from Homs to Hama.”

SOT, Igor Konashenkov, Russian Defence Ministry spokesperson (Russian): “In order to ensure the effective functioning of the Homs de-escalation zone, a Committee on National Justice will be also formed, which will include opposition representatives from all of the main ethnic, political and religious groups living in this area.”

SOT, Igor Konashenkov, Russian Defence Ministry spokesperson (Russian): “The Russian Federation will continue to make every effort to return peace to the Syrian land as soon as possible. Let me remind you that during the last ten days, the agreement on reconciliation have been signed with representatives of 52 settlements, which put the total number of reconciled towns and villages at 2,095. During the same period, the Russian servicemen have carried out 41 humanitarian raids, which saw over 55 tons of food delivered to the Syrian population.”

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