No shelling attacks by Turkey-controlled armed groups were reported in Syria’s Idlib de-escalation zone in the past day while militants staged six shelling attacks, Oleg Zhuravlev, chief of the Russian Center for reconciliation of the conflicting sides in Syria, told reporters on Sunday.
"No shelling attacks by Turkey-controlled illegal armed groups were reported throughout the day," he said, adding that six shelling attacks by Jabhat al-Nusra (a terrorist organization outlawed in Russia) militants were reported from the Idlib and Latakia governorates.
According to earlier reports, the Russian military police and Turkish servicemen conducted the first joint patrol mission along the M4 highway in Idlib. The route however was shortened due to provocations with the use of women and children as a human shield hatched by militants not controlled by Turkey, TASS reports.
"The Turkish side was given extra time to take measures to neutralize terrorist groups and ensure security of the joint patrol missions along the M4 highway," Zhuravlev stressed.
Russian and Turkish Presidents, Vladimir Putin and Recep Tayyip Erdogan, held talks in Moscow on March 5 to agree on a ceasefire and a number of other measures to settle the situation in Syria’s Idlib governorate. Under the agreements, hostilities are to be stopped along the entire contact line along with the enforcement of a ceasefire on March 6. Russia and Turkey will begin joint patrolling along the M4 highway from March 15 to ensure a security corridor. Moscow and Ankara reiterated commitment to Syria’s sovereignty and agreed to continue fight against terrorism.
The Russian reconciliation center continues to fulfill assigned tasks after the completion of the military campaign in Syria. The center’s officers regularly travel around the country's liberated areas to assess the humanitarian situation. The main efforts of the Russian military are now focused on assistance to the refugees returning to their homes and evacuation of civilians from de-escalation zones.