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Russia, US exchange information to ensure Syrian ceasefire

(Xinhua) Updated: 2016-02-28 05:37

MOSCOW -- Russia and the United States have exchanged information on the current ceasefire in Syria, a Russian senior military official said Saturday.

The shared information relates to areas in Syria where the latest ceasefire is applied and where armed groups are deployed, according to Sergei Rudskoi, head of the Russian Defense Ministry's Main Operational Directorate.

For the exchange of information, Russia has developed a map depicting the situation in Syria and forwarded it to the US side on Friday during the two sides' consultations in Amman, Jordan, said Rudskoi.

In an official transcript, Rudskoi said the map marked areas where reconciliation work is being carried out among conflicting Syrian parties.

"During the Amman consultations, we received a similar map prepared by the American side. The list of armed units, according to the US delegation, was sent to us via diplomatic channels," he said, adding that the Russian side is working on matching the acquired information with the data they have.

According to Rudskoi, Russia has shared with the US side a list of armed groups totaling 6,111 people that had abided by the ceasefire, as well as 74 towns and regions that should be excluded from airstrikes.

He added that Russia also sent to the US side on Saturday a proposal with standard terms and procedures necessary to ensure the cessation of hostilities.

Should ceasefire violations be confirmed, he said, Russia and the United States will take measures to de-escalate tensions, while urging all powers with real influence on the conflicting parties in Syria to make all efforts possible to ensure the implementation of the ceasefire agreement.

Noting that Moscow has fully abided by its commitments to the ceasefire since it came into effect, Rudskoi said his country is using multiple means of intelligence devices, including drones and satellites, to monitor the ceasefire on a daily basis.

Meanwhile, Sergei Kuralenko, head of Russia's reconciliation coordination center at the Hmeimim airbase in Syria, said in a tele-conference with Rudskoi that fighting has stopped in 34 towns and settlements across the central Syrian province of Hama.

In addition, 17 Syrian armed groups have affirmed their commitment to the ceasefire to the coordination center, said Rudskoi.

Nearly 2.5 tonnes of humanitarian aid was delivered over the past two days to two cities -- respectively in the Syrian provinces of Homs and Latakia -- that Kuralenko said had signed up to the agreement on the cessation of hostilities.

The cessation of hostilities, backed by Russia and the United States and agreed by 97 armed groups and the Syrian government, came into effect Saturday midnight Damascus time (2200 GMT Friday).

The deal excludes the Islamic State group and the al-Qaeda-linked Nusra Front, as both of them are listed by the United Nations (UN) as terrorist groups.

A UN resolution unanimously adopted by the Security Council on Friday demands that all parties to whom the agreement applies fulfill their commitments.

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