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Russia: If 'terrorists' adhere to cease-fire in Syria it will happen

Syrian White Helmet civil defense workers and civilians carry an injured man on a stretcher after an airstrike hit the northern town of Ariha, in Idlib province, Syria, Sunday, July 28, 2019.

SYRIAN CIVIL DEFENSE WHITE HELMETS/AP

By ASSOCIATED PRESS Published: August 9, 2019

UNITED NATIONS — A senior Russian diplomat says the moment "terrorists" adhere to a cessation of hostilities in Syria's northwestern Idlib province is when there will actually be another cease-fire.

Russia's deputy U.N. ambassador Dmitry Polyansky told reporters Friday the Syrian army observed the Aug. 1 cease-fire but al-Qaida-linked Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, the most powerful rebel group in Idlib, didn't and "it takes two to tango."

He said Hayat Tahrir al-Sham needs "to surrender," or those that support it need to find a solution.

Both sides were reported to have repeatedly violated the truce. The Syrian army announced on Aug. 5 it was resuming its offensive on Idlib.

Polyansky spoke after closed Security Council consultations on last week's meeting between Russia, Iran and Turkey. They issued a statement calling for respect for last September's cease-fire.

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