10:15 20 July

Russian combat engineers defuse over 400 explosive devices in Deir ez-Zor in 24 hours

The demining operation goes ahead in liberated areas of the Syrian city of Deir ez-Zor, thus creating conditions for the city’s future reconstruction, Chief of the Russian center for reconciliation of warring sides Lt Gen Sergei Kuralenko told a briefing on Saturday, APA reports quoting ITAR-TASS.

"Russian engineers of the International Mine Action Center of the Russian Armed Forces alongside Syrian specialists have searched 21 hectares of southeastern districts of Deir ez-Zor and ten buildings over the past 24 hours. They have tracked and destroyed 405 explosive devices," Kuralenko said.

Joint efforts of the Russian center’s officers and Syrian governmental officials in the past 24 hours have helped 62 civilians to return to their homes from camps for internally displaced persons, 27 people in the Aleppo province, 14 people in the Hama province and 21 in the Homs province.

Preparations for the Syrian National Dialogue Congress are in full swing.

"Fighters of one of the opposition armed units in the Homs de-escalation zone contacted officers of the Russian reconciliation center with a request to assist in attending the Syrian National Dialogue Congress," the Russian general said. "They asked for assistance so that they can leave [the country] to attend the event. The Russian side has begun to negotiate the issue."

The center for reconciliation of warring sides will continue monitoring de-escalation zones. Residents of the populated locality of Ayn Tarma in East Ghouta staged a rally protesting against militants of Faylaq al-Rahman and Jabhat al-Nusra in their area. The protesters demanded that security should be provided for humanitarian organizations, that provocative shelling of government troops should be halted and that Jabhat al-Nusra militants should leave East Ghouta.

To ensure security of civilian population, officers of the Russian reconviction center are holding talks with leaders of the armed opposition operating in East Ghouta, Kuralenko said.

The Russian Defense Ministry declared the establishment of the reconciliation center on February 23, 2016. It is headquartered at the Khmeimim air base, Latakia province. The center was set up in line with agreements reached by Russia and the United States to facilitate the negotiations between the Syrian government and opposition and to organize deliveries of humanitarian aid.

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