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Russia 'Opens Center In Syria' To Monitor Truce, Organize Aid

Russia says it has opened a coordination center to help enforce a cease-fire in Syria.

Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said on February 23 that the center is located at Syria's Hmeymim air base hosting Russian warplanes.

Konashenkov said it is tasked with monitoring a truce in the five-year-old Syrian conflict and with organizing deliveries of humanitarian aid.

He also said the center had been established in line with a deal brokered by the United States and Russia on a cease-fire due to begin on February 27.

The truce does not include the Islamic State group, the Al-Qaeda-linked Al-Nusra Front, and other terrorist organizations designated by the UN.

The agreement sets up a communications hotline, and calls for a working group to monitor cease-fire violations.

Based on reporting by Reuters, AP, TASS, and Interfax