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Militants Shelled Syria's Idlib 8 Times in Past 24 Hours - Russian MoD

© AP Photo / In this Sept. 19, 2013, file photo, smoke rises after a TNT bomb was thrown from a helicopter (archive)
In this Sept. 19, 2013, file photo, smoke rises after a TNT bomb was thrown from a helicopter (archive) - Sputnik International
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Syrian militants in the northwestern Idlib de-escalation zone violated the ceasefire eight times in the past 24 hours, the Russian Defence Ministry's center for Syrian reconciliation said Tuesday.

"During the day militants have attacked Safsafa (once), Ikko (once), Ruyeset-Iskander (once), Jubb-al-Zaur (once), Kalaat-Maraza (once), Nahshebba (once), Jurin (once) in Latakia province, Aleppo (once) in Aleppo province", the center said in its daily bulletin. At the order of Syrian President Bashar Assad, 57,445 people who fled abroad or otherwise dodged conscription had been granted amnesty as of Monday.

READ MORE: Militants Attack 13 Towns in Syrian Idlib De-escalation Zone

Last September, Syrian ceasefire guarantors Russia and Turkey agreed to set up a demilitarized zone in Idlib, which was expected to have been established by 15 October 2018. Despite progress in the withdrawal of heavy weapons and militants from the area, remaining groups regularly commit ceasefire violations by shelling nearby provinces.

Syrian northwestern city of Idlib. - Sputnik International
Paris Denies Involvement of Its Intelligence in Preparing Provocation in Idlib
On 29 March, the head of the Russian Defence Ministry’s Center for Syrian Reconciliation, Maj. Gen. Viktor Kupchishin, said that the militants in Idlib were preparing provocations with poisonous substances against the civilians. According to the official, Belgian and French intelligence officers have arrived in Idlib to organize these provocations. He added that the Belgian secret services had shot videos of the Russian Aerospace Forces' strikes at the terrorists' ammunition depots in Idlib to accuse Russia of using chemical weapons.

Moscow and Ankara, alongside Tehran, have been long the guarantors of the ceasefire in crisis-ridden Syria. Russia also carries out regular humanitarian operations across the country and assists Damascus in providing safe passage for the return of some 5.6 million Syrian refugees who, according to the UN Refugee Agency, have fled to neighboring states.

READ MORE: Violence in Syria's Idlib Displace 90,000 People in February, March — UN

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