Syria, Backed by Russia, Have Unilaterally Ceased Firing in the Northwestern Idlib Province
DAMASCUS (BM) – The Syrian government forces, backed by Russia, have unilaterally ceased firing in the northwestern Idlib province, the last major rebel-held territory, learned BulgarianMilitary.com, quoting AlJazeera.
However, opposition activists said shelling and air attacks continued on Sunday despite the announcement.
Fighting erupted in northwestern Syria last month and shattered a truce negotiated by Russia and Turkey late last year.
Syrian government forces intensified their attacks on Idlib, which is home to three million people, late in April, as the United Nations and rights groups warned of an humanitarian catastrophe.
The offensive by the Syrian army and its allies uprooted more than 150,000 people, the UN said.
In a brief statement on Sunday, the Russian Defence Ministry’s Center for Reconciliation of the Warring Sides in Syria said government forces had ceased firing as of midnight.
It described the move as unilateral but did not give any further details.
However, the pro-government Syrian Central Military Media said government forces responded to shelling by rebel fighters on Sunday on the edge of Idlib, according to the Associated Press news agency. It gave no further details.
Meanwhile, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based war monitoring group, reported an air attack on the town of Khan Sheikhoun, saying it inflicted casualties.
The opposition’s Syrian Civil Defence also reported shelling near the town of Jisr al-Shughour without reporting any casualties.
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