Militants Continue Shelling Settlements in Syria’s North, Russian Military Says

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MOSCOW (Sputnik) – The Hayat Tahrir al-Sham* terrorist group shelled settlements in the Syrian provinces of Idlib and Latakia, the head of the Russian centre for Syrian reconciliation said at a briefing on Wednesday.

“We have registered one shelling of the Kawkaba settlement and one shelling of the Mardih settlement in the province of Idlib, and one shelling of the Mamouhiya settlement in the province of Latakia by the Nusra* terrorists”, Rear Admiral Alexander Shcherbitsky said.

The Russian military specified that no firing was recorded in the Idlib de-escalation zone by Turkish-controlled armed groups over the past 24 hours.

According to Shcherbitsky, the Russian military police have continued patrolling in the provinces of Raqqa and Aleppo, while the air force conducted aerial patrolling in a northward loop beginning and ending in the Aleppo airfield of Metras.

On 5 March, 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 kilometres (3.7 miles) north and south of the M4 highway in Syria, which connects the provinces of Latakia and Aleppo. In addition, Moscow and Ankara agreed to jointly patrol the M4 highway.

Militants remain in control of a small pocket of the Idlib province in northwest Syria.

*Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (formerly known as Jabhat al-Nusra) is a terrorist organization banned in Russia and many other countries.

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