Three settlements have joined the reconciliation process in Syria over the past 24 hours, the Russian center for reconciliation of warring sides in Syria said on Saturday in a daily news bulletin posted on the Russian Defense Ministry’s website.
“The number of populated localities that joined the reconciliation process has increased to 356,” the bulletin says. “Talks are underway with the field commanders of armed opposition units in the provinces of Damascus, Latakia and Hama to join the cessation of hostilities agreement. The number of armed formations that claimed their commitment to accepting and fulfilling conditions for the cessation of hostilities has remained unchanged – 69.”
In the past 24 hours, the ceasefire has been observed in most Syrian regions, the bulletin said. Eight ceasefire violations were registered in the Damascus and Latakia regions.
The Jaysh al-Islam units, which identify themselves with the opposition, opened mortar fire on the populated localities of Nashabiyah, Qaboun, Jaubar, Haush-Nasri, Duma and Arbil in the Damascus region. In the Latakia region, the Ahrar al-Sham militants shelled the settlement of Tauma.
Russia’s Aerospace Force and Syria’s Air Force have not been delivering strikes on opposition armed units that had announced the cessation of hostilities and reported their location to the Russian or U.S. reconciliation centers.
In the meantime, the Jabhat al-Nusra and Islamic State terrorist groups (both banned in Russia) keep on hampering the final establishment of the cessation of hostilities in Syria, the bulletin said.
In the past 24 hours, terrorists have opened fire from self-made multiple rocket launchers and mortars on the residential localities of Ansar, Benjamin and Bakirtayah along with districts of Hai al-Antari and Laramon in the city of Aleppo.
The ceasefire has been effective in Syria since February 27. It does not apply to the groups Islamic State and Jabhat al-Nusra (both outlawed in Russia), and also to other groups declared as terrorist by the UN Security Council.
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.