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Radical groups trying to disrupt truce in Syria’s Idlib, Turkish minister says

U.S. Acting Secretary of Defense Patrick M. Shanahan and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, U.S. Marine Corps Gen. Joseph Dunford, Jr., host their Turkish counterparts Minister of National Defense Hulusi Akar and Chief of General Staff Gen. Yasar Guler during a meeting at the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., Feb. 22, 2019. (DoD photo by U.S. Army Sgt. Amber I. Smith)

Radical groups in Syria’s northwestern Idlib region are trying to disrupt a three-month-old ceasefire reached by Turkey and Russia, but the agreement still stands, Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said on Wednesday, Reuters reported.

“There are some radical groups, some unknown groups with their own agenda there that have attempted to disrupt the ceasefire and are violating it, but we are discussing it with our Russian counterparts, and the March 5 agreement still stands,” Akar told broadcaster A Haber.

He made no mention of airstrikes on Monday on several villages in Syrian rebel-held villages, the first such strikes since the March ceasefire.

According to various reports, both Russia and Turkey have bolstered their military presence in Idlib since the announcement of the ceasefire.

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