Chief of the Main operational directorate of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces Lieutenant General Sergei Rudskoy held a media briefing

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Since 00:00 December 30, 2016, the ceasefire is active on the whole territory of the Syrian Arab Republic. It does not extend to international terrorist groupings – the ISIS and the Jabhat al-Nusra.

The joint Russian-Turkish commission carries out a 24-hour monitoring of the ceasefire.

In total, despite numerous provocations of terrorists of the Jabhat al-Nusra against the Syrian troops and oppositional formations the ceasefire is observed.

The number of violations within a 24-hour period exhibits a tendency to reduction. This creates favourable conditions for negotiations on peaceful resolution of the Syrian conflict, which are to take place in Astana on January 23.

The Russian Centre for reconciliation of the opposing sides receives applications from representatives of different oppositional formations to participate in the negotiations in Astana.

In its turn, the Russian Ministry of Defence supports the increase in number of opposition representatives. However the negotiation process must be attended by those representatives who have real influence on armed formations on the “ground”.

The necessary conditions for participation in the negotiations is the written confirmation of joining of a specific armed formation to the ceasefire, which states its strength, the controlled territories, as well as the state which will become its guarantee for observation of reconciliation conditions.

This delicate work with representatives’ applications has been conducted by Russian specialists for already two months.

Its goal is the creation of conditions for a real dialogue among all the parties in favour of the Syrian people in the course of the negotiations in Astana.

Concerning the operational situation in the Syrian Arab Republic.

The grouping of the US-led coalition near the Iraqi city of Mosul have resulted in pushing of the most part of the ISIS forces to the eastern part of Syria which are projecting their armaments, explosives, living force in the direction of Palmyra, Deir ez-Zor as well as to the city of Al-Bab near the Turkish border.

Moreover, we have received information confirmed by several sources concerning the projection of a large amount of explosives to the region of Palmyra in order to destroy the historical heritage of the city by the ISIS terrorists.

Now the government troops supported by the Russian Aerospace Forces conduct offensive operations against the ISIS terrorists in Palmyra.

Difficult situation is observed near the Deir ez-Zor city besieged by the ISIS terrorists for about 3 years already.

Using their numerical superiority, the insurgents conduct continuous assault of positions of the Syrian troops. In case of capture of the city, the population of Deir ez-Zor will be killed.

Now the garrison of the city supported by the Russian Aerospace Forces continues resistance to the ISIS terrorists. Measures are taken to support the units of the Syrian army in defence as well as to stabilize the situation.

On January 12, representatives of the Russian Aerospace Forces and Turkish Air Force signed the Memorandum on flight security and air incident prevention in course of the operation in the Syrian Arab Republic.

This document allowed to establish a basis for conducting joint actions in Syria aimed at eliminating international terrorist organizations.

Today, the Russian Aerospace Forces and Turkish Air Force have carried out joint air operation on making strikes on the ISIS grouping in suburbs of al-Bab in the Aleppo province.

The operation was approved by the Syrian authorities. In total, 4 Su-24M, 4 Su-25 and 1 Su-34 aircraft of the Russian Aerospace Forces as well as 4 F-16 and 4 F-4 of the Turkish Air Force were involved in the operation.

36 objects are being engaged.

All the targets had been approved by General Staffs and aviation commands of 2 countries.

Within last 2 days, the additional reconnaissance was held with the use of unmanned aerial vehicles and means of satellite reconnaissance.

Assessment of results of strikes on the ISIS terrorists have demonstrated high efficiency of joint actions carried out by the Russian and Turkish aviation groups.

The Russian Centre for reconciliation of opposing sides has continued its work aimed at recovering of peaceful life in Aleppo.

Specialists of the International Mine Action Centre of the Russian Armed Forces have cleared more than 200 social facilities, 3,210 buildings at the territory of more than 2,000 hectares, 709 kilometers of roads from mines. They have also defused 26,395 explosive devices.

More than 10,000 citizens have returned to their homes in the eastern quarters of the city.

Physicians of the hospital of the Russian Defence Ministry have provided assistance to more than 5,000 people, including 1,847 children.

Under the aegis of officers of the Russian military police, security institutions have been recovered in the Aleppo areas, which had been liberated from terrorists. Their work on providing security to the population has been organized.

Posts with hot meal and items of first necessity for citizens of the Aleppo city continue their work.

Russian officers continue their work aimed to recover peaceful life in other Syrian regions.

Leaders of 1,135 inhabited areas have signed agreements on joining the truce process.

Roads, infrastructural and social objects, which had been destroyed by the warfare, as well as water and electricity supply are being recovered. Thus, all conditions for returning to peaceful life are being established.

This work is actively carried out in the Damascus province. One of the recent examples is settling the situation in the valley of Wadi Barada River.

After the sabotage organized by terrorists, which had been carried out in the early January, resulting in knocking the water station out of service in Ain al-Fiji, about more than 5 million citizens of the capital city of Syria were cut out of water.

With the direct participation of Russian officers, reconciliation of the opposing sides in 9 inhabited areas located in this region was organized.

As a result, 2,274 insurgents have stopped their resistance. Overwhelming majority have laid down their arms and returned to peaceful life. To those, who had refused to stay in reconciled inhabited areas, the opportunity to go to the province of Idlib with their families was given.

These works resulted in recovering peaceful life in the valley of Wadi-Barada as well as conducting repair works on water intake station. In the nearest future, water supply in Damascus will be fully restored.

This work will be continued in other regions of Syria.

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