07:49 GMT +317 November 2019
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    A tank on a frontline in south-western Aleppo, Syria

    Syrian Army Withdraws Heavy Military Equipment to Create Demilitarized Zone

    © Sputnik / Michael Alaeddin
    Middle East
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    The Syrian Army has started withdrawal of heavy military equipment to create demilitarized zone, the Russian General Staff stated on Thursday.

    "The Syrian governmant troops have stopped firing and begun to withdraw their tanks, IFV and artillery to a set distance to create a demilitarized zone. The Russian Aerospace Force and the Syrian Air Force have stopped airstrikes on areas where opposition units may be located," Lt. Gen. Viktor Poznikhir, first deputy chief of the General Staff's Main Operational Department, told reporters.

    "The Russian side is completely fulfilling its obligations under the ceasefire agreement. A checkpoint created on Castello Road has been handed over to the Red Crescent Society. The people's self-defense units 'Bustan' and 'Shield' are defending the checkpoint," Poznikhir said.

    He added that the Russian Defense Ministry "has no information related to similar actions by opposition groups controlled by the US."

    The first deputy chief of the General Staff's Main Operational Department also said that withdrawal from Castello road in Aleppo may be halted if militants fail to do it simultaneously with the Syrian army.

    Moreover, the Russian General Staff voiced concern over a steady increase in ceasefire violations in Syria by opposition militants caused by Washington's failure to separate 'moderate opposition' from al-Nusra Front terrorists.

    "We are concerned about a steady increase in ceasefire violations by opposition armed groups," Lt. Gen. Viktor Poznikhir, first deputy chief of the General Staff's Main Operational Department, told reporters.

    According to Poznikhir, new ceasefire in Syria introduced on September 12 has been violated 23 times on the first day, 37 times on the second day, and 45 times on the third day.

    The general linked the increase in violations with the failure by the US side to separate US-backed 'moderate opposition' from the Jabhat Fatah Al-Sham terrorist group, formerly known as al-Nusra Front.


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