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Russian Military Says Registered 6 Violations by Militants in Idlib Since New Ceasefire Took Effect

© Sputnik / Basel ShartouhSmoke is rising over town of Saraqib, Syria's Idlib Governorate
Smoke is rising over town of Saraqib, Syria's Idlib Governorate - Sputnik International
Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan earlier struck a ceasefire agreement creating a humanitarian corridor and establishing joint patrols in the province.

The Russian Centre for Syrian Reconciliation says it has registered at least 6 violations by militants operating in Syria's Idlib province since the new ceasefire took effect.

"Six shelling have been registered since the beginning of ceasefire at midnight on 6 March", Rear Admiral Oleg Zhuravlev, the commander of the centre, said at a daily briefing.

On Thursday, Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, agreed on a ceasefire in Idlib, which started at midnight. The sides also agreed to create a security corridor six kilometers (3.7 miles) north and south of the M4 highway in Syria, which connects the provinces of Latakia and Aleppo.

Following the ceasefire agreement, the situation in northern Syria calmed down following major clashes between Ankara and Damascus.

Last week, Turkey launched Operation Spring Shield in response to an airstrike performed against Idlib militants by the Syrian Army that killed at least 34 Turkish servicemen.

According to Moscow,  the Turkish soldiers were operating amongst Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (formerly known as Al-Nusra Front*) militants. Ankara later claimed its army had "neutralised" up to 300 Syrian soldiers.

Russia has also repeatedly said that Turkey has failed to implement its commitments under the Sochi deal, particularly with distinguishing between members of the armed opposition who are ready to engage in peace talks and members of terrorist groups. On 18 September, Erdogan and Putin agreed in Sochi to create a demilitarised buffer zone in the province that is freed from the presence of terrorists and heavy weaponry.

The situation in the northwestern province of Idlib has escalated since late February, after militants intensified their attacks against Syrian government forces. Damascus responded to the attacks, while Turkish troops in the area were caught in the strikes and suffered casualties. The Russian Defence Ministry said that Turkish forces were not supposed to be in the area targeted by the Syrian Army's fire.

*Al-Nusra Front (also known as Jabhat al-Nusra, Jabhat Fatah al-Sham, or al-Qaeda in Syria) is a terrorist group outlawed in Russia

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