20:15 GMT +316 October 2019
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    Sergei Rudskoi (C), a senior representative of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces, holds a briefing in Moscow on February 27, 2016

    Russian Center for Syrian Reconciliation to Protect Opposition Leaders

    © AFP 2019 / VASILY MAXIMOV
    Middle East
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    Lt. Gen. Kuralenko, commander of the Hmeymim-based Russian center for Syrian reconciliation, said that Russian experts held 23 meetings with Syrian opposition and political forces since the center began operations, in which group leaders requested protection from Daesh.

    MOSCOW(Sputnik) – The Hmeymim-based Russian center for Syrian reconciliation will help ensure the safety of opposition and local leaders who signed a ceasefire agreement a week ago, the head of the center, Lt. Gen. Sergei Kuralenko, said Saturday.

    Kuralenko said Russian experts held 23 meetings with Syrian opposition and political forces since the center began operations, in which group leaders requested protection from Islamic State (ISIL or Daesh) and other jihadist groups that declared a "witch hunt" on parties to the ceasefire.

    "For our part, we will help ensure the safety of the leaders of Syrian opposition groups and the heads of local municipalities, who have signed an agreement on the cessation of hostilities and the beginning of the reconciliation process," he noted.

    A US-Russia-brokered ceasefire came into force on February 27 across Syria. It was supported by the Syrian government and dozens of opposition groups on the ground. The Islamic State and the Nusra Front (outlawed in Russia) are not part of the deal.

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    Tags:
    ceasefire, Hmeymim airbase, Syrian crisis, Daesh, Sergei Kuralenko, Russia, Syria
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