11:40 GMT +327 March 2017
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    Free Syrian Army fighters carry their weapons as they stand on the outskirts of the northern Syrian town of al-Bab, Syria February 4, 2017.

    Clashes Between Syrian Gov't and Moderate Opposition Forces Ended - Shoigu

    © REUTERS/ Khalil Ashawi
    Middle East
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    Clashes between the Syrian government and moderate opposition forces have fully stopped, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu stated during his meeting with UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura.

    He also stated that the fights were fully eliminated with the help of the conflict sides and the mediators.

    "We hope to further build a constructive dialogue with the opposition. All in all, progress we made after December 29 [nationwide ceasefire], progress we have now — this scenario is much better than it used to be. The amount of shellings has significantly fallen, direct clashes have stopped completely," he stated.

    Russia hopes for a roadmap on separating terrorists from the moderate opposition in Syria at ongoing ceasefire talks in Astana, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu also said.

    "We hope that decisions to draw up a single Syrian map and approve it will be made today [at talks in Astana], a map where we will finally secure all the information given to us by the Syrian opposition and government where we precisely define the location of the moderate opposition that joined the ceasefire and those that did not join it," Shoigu said.

    The delegations to the talks on Syria in Geneva should be formed more thoroughly for productive work, the Russian Defense Minister stated.

    "Of course, we all hope that the meeting that you organize in Geneva, we fully support it… We hope that those people who really want to solve the problems, and not just to discuss this subject gather there," Shoigu said.

    He underscored the importance of locating the positions of the Daesh jihadist group and the ex-Nusra Front, both outlawed in Russia, and stressed that Russia will continue anti-terrorist efforts in alliance with the moderate Syrian opposition, Turkey, and Iran.

    Last week, the Russian Defense Ministry said that the Syrian government forces and Ankara-backed Free Syrian Army have agreed on a demarcation line in the city of al-Bab, where both Damascus and the rebels are currently conducting an operation to free the area from Daesh.

    Tags:
    Daesh, Syrian opposition, Al-Nusra Front, Staffan de Mistura, Sergei Shoigu, Syria
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    • avatar
      anne00marie
      Brilliant. Yesterday, on the UK TV news, they were going on about the US putting boots on the ground in Syria. Now how does that work, when the US have not been invited, or was it wishful thinking from the Qatar to Europe Pipeline Investors?
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