Turkish Defense Minister: No major violations of Syrian ceasefire so far

Published January 1st, 2017 - 08:00 GMT
Syrian Abu Khaled stands amid the rubble of his destroyed house in the rebel-held town of Douma, on the eastern outskirts of Damascus, on December 30, 2016, on the first day of a nationwide truce. (AFP/Abd Doumany)
Syrian Abu Khaled stands amid the rubble of his destroyed house in the rebel-held town of Douma, on the eastern outskirts of Damascus, on December 30, 2016, on the first day of a nationwide truce. (AFP/Abd Doumany)

There have not been any violations so far that could "undermine" the cease-fire in Syria, Turkey's Defense Minister said Saturday.

Minister Fikri Isik's remarks came during his visit to Turkey's southeastern province of Sirnak, where he answered journalists' questions.

When asked about the recent developments regarding the ongoing country-wide ceasefire in Syria, Minister Isik said that there have not been any violations so far that could "undermine" the cease-fire.

"We have to be very careful about the issue," Isik said. "We are watching every step along the way with the Russian Federation to make the ceasefire permanent and have political solution pave the way for Syria's future."

Isik also touched on the Russian air strikes against Daesh in northern Syria. It is "an important development," he said, referring to the Russian attack that was carried out last Thursday against Daesh positions in al-Bab district.

A nationwide cease-fire in Syria took effect at midnight (2200GMT) Dec. 30, after a deal was brokered with Turkey, Russia and the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Within the scope of the ceasefire, warring parties pledged to stop armed attacks, from land or air, and not to expand territories against each other.

Launched on August 24, Operation Euphrates Shield aims to clear northern Syria off militant organizations, including Daesh, and to ensure the security of the southern border of Turkey.

Editor's note: This article has been edited from the source material.


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