11:23 GMT +308 December 2019
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    This picture taken on May 22, 2019 shows smoke plumes rising from the Syrian town of Khan Sheikhun in the southern countryside of the rebel-held Idlib province.

    Russia Initiated Full Cessation of Hostilities Agreement Across Idlib De-Escalation Zone

    © AFP 2019 / Anas AL-dyab
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Russia has initiated an agreement on the full cessation of hostilities in the Idlib de-escalation zone in Syria, the Russian Center for Syrian reconciliation said on Wednesday in a statement.

    "At Russia's initiative and under the Russian and Turkish mediation, an agreement on the full cessation of hostilities across the entire Idllib de-escalation zone starting from the midnight of June 12, 2019 [21:00 GMT on June 11], has been reached, As a result, the number of attacks of illegal armed groups has significantly decreased ... The Syrian government troops have not opened retaliatory fire [after two attacks in the province of Hama], respecting the reached agreements," the statement said.

    Syria has been in a state of civil war since 2011, with government forces fighting against numerous opposition groups as well as militant and terrorist organizations.

    Russia and Turkey, along with Iran, are guarantors of the ceasefire in Syria. Moscow has also been assisting Damascus by supporting the struggle against terrorist groups, providing humanitarian aid to local residents, and facilitating the return of refugees.

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