World Middle East 23 Feb 2016 Syrian govt accepts ...

Syrian govt accepts halt to 'combat operations'

REUTERS
Published Feb 23, 2016, 9:07 pm IST
Updated Feb 23, 2016, 9:07 pm IST
It said it would coordinate with Russia to decide which groups and areas would be included in the 'cessation of hostilities' plan.
Syrian president Bashar al-Assad. (Photo:AP)
 Syrian president Bashar al-Assad. (Photo:AP)

Damascus: The Syrian government said on Tuesday it accepted a halt to "combat operations" that does not include the Islamic State group, the al Qaeda-linked Nusra Front, or groups connected to it, in line with a US-Russian plan.

It said it would coordinate with Russia to decide which groups and areas would be included in the "cessation of hostilities" plan which is due to take effect on Saturday according to the US-Russian plan.

 

In a statement, the government stressed the importance of sealing the borders and halting foreign support to armed groups and "preventing these organizations from strengthening their capabilities or changing their positions, in order to avoid what may lead to wrecking this agreement".

The Syrian government announced "its acceptance of a halt to combat operations on the basis of continuing military efforts to combat terrorism against Daesh, the Nusra Front, and the other terrorist organizations linked to it and to the al Qaeda organisation, according to the Russian-American announcement".

 

Daesh is an Arabic acronym for Islamic State.

The Syrian military reserved the right to "respond to any breach by these groups against Syrian citizens or against its armed forces", the statement added.

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