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Syrian regime army announces termination of ceasefire

Published September 19th, 2016 - 04:02 GMT
Destroyed buildings in the central city of Homs, Syria. (AFP/Louai Beshara)
Destroyed buildings in the central city of Homs, Syria. (AFP/Louai Beshara)

Syria's regime forces announced an end to the week-long ceasefire brokered by the United States and Russia, blaming militants for the failure of the truce.

"Syria's army announces the end of the freeze on fighting that began at 7:00 pm (1600 GMT) on September 12, 2016 in accordance with the US-Russia agreement," the statement carried by Syria’s official news agency, SANA, said on Monday.

It added that groups "did not commit to a single element" of the deal.

Earlier on Monday, Russia criticized the United States for not doing enough to rein in militants in Syria to protect the truce deal, saying continued violations of the ceasefire by militants made it “senseless” for Damascus to stick to the agreement.  

“Syrian servicemen and peaceful citizens are still dying. The cause of this is the fact the United States has no effective leverage to influence Syria's opposition and is unaware of the real situation on the ground,” Lieutenant-General Sergei Rudskoi, a senior Russian Defense Ministry official, told reporters.

Rudskoi said American officials were not well informed of the situation in Syria and how US-backed militants were violating the terms of the truce.

“Taking into account the fact that the terms of the ceasefire are not respected by militants, we consider observing it unilaterally by Syrian government forces is senseless,” Rudskoi said.  

Russian officials said Monday that monitors in Syria had registered 53 ceasefire violations across the country over the past 24 hours.

The Russian Defense Ministry said there had been reports that elements from the so-called moderate Syrian opposition were merging with militants to carry out large-scale attacks against government forces.

The US-Russia brokered truce aimed to allow humanitarian access and joint attacks against militant groups, which are not covered by the agreement, including Daesh and Jabhat Fateh al-Sham.

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