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Ceasefire agreements signed with 15 more Syrian settlements — Russian Defense Ministry

Reconciliation agreements were signed during the day with representatives of 15 more settlements in Syria, including eight — in the province of Latakia, six — in the province of Hama, and one — in the province of Quneitra, the Russian Center for reconciliation of the warring parties in Syria said in its regular daily bulletin posted on the Russian Defense Ministry's official website on Friday.

"The number of settlements joining the reconciliation process has reached 832," the center said.

"Talks on joining the regime of cessation of hostilities were continued with field commanders of armed opposition groups in the provinces of Damascus, Homs, Hama, Aleppo and Quneitra. The number illegal armed groups that declared their commitment to the ceasefire terms remains unchanged — 69," the bulletin says.

Observing ceasefire

At the request of representatives of the United Nations and other international organizations, Russian President Vladimir Putin decreed to extend the humanitarian pause in Aleppo for one more day, until 7pm Moscow time on October 22, the Russian center said.

"The Russian air group and the Syrian government troops stopped to deliver strikes on terrorists from October 18 and by the time the humanitarian pause came into effect, the Syrian government forces withdrew to a distance making it possible for militants and civilians to leave eastern Aleppo via eight special corridors," the bulletin says. "Eight wounded Ahrar al-Sham militants left Aleppo's eastern quarters. They received medical assistance. Apart from that, ten civilians managed to escape from militants-controlled districts in the nighttime."

Terrorists' provocations

During the day, a total of 45 ceasefire violations by illegal armed groups were reported during the day in Syria, including 24 — in the province of Aleppo, 19 — in the province of Damascus, and two — in the province of Hama, the Russian center reported.

"Armed groups which have declared their joining the regime of cessation of hostilities conducted fire from mortars and firearms at Aleppo's district of Hai al-Antari; at the settlements of Douma, Harasta, Jobar, and positions of government forces near Qusayr farms in the province of Damascus," the bulletin said. In the province of Aleppo, paramilitary terrorist groups shelled from home-made multiple missile launcher systems, artillery systems, anti-tank guided missile systems, mortars and firearms the settlements of Benyamin, Shurfa, al-Hader, northern farms in the settlement of Sheikh Ali-Kobtani, and Aleppo's districts of al-Zahra, Ramuri, 1070, al-Marsharqa, Hai al-Ansari, Dar-Menyan, Al-Mohammed, Suleiman Halabi, and positions of government troops near a cement plant, the Castello trade center, the Al-Assad military academy, Castello Road, checkpoint No 8 in Aleppo's Sheikh Najjar district.

"In the province of Damascus, terrorists shelled the settlements of Hawsh-Nasri, Hawsh Harabu, Jobar, Hawsh al-Fara, farms in the settlement of Deir Ali, an electricity plant and positions of government forces near the settlement of Jobar, the Al-Wafidin canp in the settlement of Mazraat Mahmoud, the Ibn al-Walid hospital, the Samadi crossroads, a medical service school in the settlement of Harasta," the center said. "In the province of Hama, terrorists shelled living quarters and a heat plant in the settlement of Mazarda."

No air strikes were delivered by the Russian air group and the Syrian air force at armed opposition group which have declared cessation of hostilities and informed the Russian or U.S. reconciliation centers about their locations, as follows from the bulletin.

Humanitarian assistance

According to the Russian center, efforts are continued to relieve the humanitarian situation in Syria. Thus, one tonne of humanitarian cargoes was delivered to the settlement of Marin-Aslaib in the province of Hama. Hot meals and living essentials distribution outlets are still open for civilians leaving Aleppo's neighborhoods controlled by illegal armed groups, the center said.

Russian reconciliation center

The Russian Defense Ministry declared the establishment of the reconciliation center on February 23. It is headquartered at the Hmeymim 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.

[Source: Itar Tass, Moscow, 21Oct16]

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