18:31 GMT12 August 2020
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Militants shelled a town in Syria’s western Hama province within the past 24-hour period, the Russian Defence Ministry said on Saturday.

    "Over the past day, insurgents have attacked al-Jammasiya in Hama province", the ministry’s Syrian reconciliation centre noted in its daily bulletin.

    The centre reiterated its call for commanders of illegal armed groups in the northwestern Idlib de-escalation zone to cease fire and take steps toward a peaceful settlement in areas under their control.

    Since 2011, Syria has been engulfed in an armed conflict between President Bashar Assad's government and various opposition groups, including terrorist organizations.

    In May 2017, the warring parties held talks in Kazakhstan's capital city of Astana, mediated by Russia, Iran and Turkey, and concluded a ceasefire agreement and established four de-escalation zones.

    Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan agreed to set up a demilitarized zone in Idlib along the contact line between the armed opposition and government forces during talks in the Russian resort city of Sochi in September 2018.

    Even though the northern areas of Hama province fall within these de-escalation zones, terrorists from neighboring Idlib province systematically breach the truce and shell Hama, predominantly targeting the civilian population.

    Since the end of April, the United Nations has recorded 29 attacks on civilian facilities in northwest Syria - including on 25 medical clinics - and 45 attacks on schools, with more than 300 civilians killed.

    Various armed groups, including Jabhat al-Nusra terror group, are currently operating in Idlib. There are reportedly 30,000 militants, including foreign mercenaries, in the region.

    *Jabhat al-Nusra is a terrorist group banned in Russia and many other countries.


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    Russian Defense Ministry, ceasefire violation, militants, Hama, Syria
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