Russia halts strikes in Syria

Russia halts strikes in Syria

The Russian Defense Ministry will hold off on carrying out airstrikes against extremist positions in Syria until they have managed to force out the Nusra Front jihadists there, the Russian Defense Ministry’s official spokesman, Igor Konashenkov, said.

"Over the past few days, the Russian Center for Reconciliation of the warring sides in Syria has received about a dozen calls from the leadership of armed groups in various Syrian provinces, particularly Aleppo and Damascus, asking us not to strike until they have completed their engagement with militants from the Nusra Front terrorist group," Sputnik cited Konashenkov as saying.

According to the spokesman, some of these militant groups are ready to provide their coordinates to the Russian reconciliation center in order to join the ceasefire once the terrorists have been forced out of the territories under their control.

"It was decided to extend the period of work with separate militias on their accession to the ceasefire, engagement with the terrorists and definition of precise areas under their control, before we launch strikes on extremist positions," the spokesman added.