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Russia Announces New Local Cease-Fire in Syria

  • VOA News

FILE - Syrian security forces and firefighters gather at an explosion in the central city of Homs, Syria, May 23, 2017. Syrian state TV reported that an explosion in the central city of Homs has killed several people.

Russia's Defense Ministry announced Thursday the start of a new local cease-fire in Syria that covers an area north of the city of Homs.

Ministry spokesman Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov said the truce was going into effect at noon local time, and would include an area that has more than 147,000 people.

He said the details of the cease-fire were discussed last week at a meeting in Cairo between Russian and Syrian rebel representatives.

The agreement is the third put in place as a result of negotiations in Astana, Kazakhstan earlier this year where Russia, Iran and Turkey agreed to establish what they called "de-escalation" zones in Syria.

Russia said its military police will monitor the halt in fighting.

Like other cease-fire deals during the Syrian conflict, this one does not cover Islamic State fighters or those from al-Qaida-linked groups.

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