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January 13, 2020 9:38 am

Russia Says Civilians Can Flee Syria’s Idlib Via Three New Checkpoints

avatar by Reuters and Algemeiner Staff

Displaced Syrian children walk together in an olive grove at Atmeh town, Idlib province, Syria, May 15, 2019. Photo: Reuters / Khalil Ashawi.

Russia’s Defense Ministry said in a statement late on Sunday that civilians could leave what it calls a de-escalation zone in Syria’s Idlib Province via three new checkpoints.

The ministry said it had received many requests from Syrian civilians in Idlib in areas controlled by armed groups to return to their homes in territory controlled by Syrian government forces.

The Russian military warned armed groups to allow people to leave Idlib if they wanted to.

Russia and its allies halted air strikes in Idlib on Sunday as a ceasefire agreed with Turkey came into force, residents, rebels and respondents said, although few were optimistic the truce would hold.

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