DAMASCUS (Dispatches) – Syrian government forces have unilaterally ceased fire in the northern Idlib province, the last major terrorist stronghold, Russia said Sunday, while terrorists continued shelling and airstrikes.
Fighting erupted in Idlib late last month, effectively shattering a cease-fire negotiated by Russia and Turkey that had been in place since September. Russia has firmly backed President Bashar Assad's government in the eight-year foreign-backed war, while Turkey has supported the opposition.
In a brief statement on Sunday, the Russian Defense Ministry's Center for Reconciliation of the Warring Sides in Syria said government forces had ceased fire as of midnight. It described the move as unilateral, but did not give details.
The Syrian Central Military Media said government forces responded to shelling by terrorists Sunday on the edge of Idlib. It gave no further details.
Besides Idlib, the terrorists continue shelling the government's forces in Hama, Latakia and Aleppo provinces, the statement issued by the centre reads.
The centre continued by saying that the Syrian Army unilaterally ceased fire in Idlib starting from May 18.
"Starting from midnight [21:00 GMT on Friday], the Armed Forces of the Syrian Arab Republic unilaterally ceased fire in the Idlib de-escalation zone. At the same time, the shelling of the government forces' positions and civilian population in the provinces of Hama, Latakia and Aleppo by militants continue", the center said in a statement.
Earlier this week, Russian President Vladimir Putin discussed ceasefire violations by terrorists operating in Idlib de-escalation zone with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Previously, the head of Russia's Reconciliation Centre in Syria said that terrorist groups acting in the Idlib de-escalation zone haven't ceased their attempts to attack Russia's Hmeymim base and Syrian government troops, adding that the terrorists attempted to shell Hmeymim airbase using multiple-launch rocket systems as well as drones twelve times over the past month.
Syrian government forces have unilaterally ceased fire in the northern Idlib province, while terrorists continued shelling and airstrikes.