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France calls for Russia to stop military action in Syria

French Prime Minister Bernard Cazeneuve has called for the ceasefire agreement to be respected. Credit: AP

France has called on Russia to stop military action in Syria and respect a fragile ceasefire agreement brokered by Moscow and Turkey to end almost six years of war.

The truce deal, which was welcomed unanimously by the United Nations Security Council, has been repeatedly violated since it began, with warring sides trading the blame.

On Saturday, Syria rebels warned they would abandon the ceasefire if government forces continued to violate it, asking the Russians, who support President Bashar al-Assad, to rein in army and militia attacks in the valley by 8 pm.

French Prime Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said: "We resolutely condemn everything Russia could do in Syria that would contribute to a continuation of fighting.

"We hope talks between separate Syrian forces will continue so the ceasefire can hold. We ask the Russians to stop taking part in military operations which are deadly operations."

However he did not specify which actions in particular he was referring to.


Syrian rebels to abandon ceasefire if government violates it

Damaged buildings in Aleppo. Credit: AP

Syrian rebel groups have said that they would consider a ceasefire deal brokered by Russia and Turkey "null and void" if government forces and their allies continued to violate it.

Airstrikes and clashes have continued in some areas since the ceasefire officially began on Friday.

A statement signed by a number of rebel groups said: "Continued violations by the regime and bombardment and attempts to attack areas under the control of the revolutionary factions will make the agreement null and void."

Dozens of IS fighters killed in Russian and Turkish strikes

The al Bab area, seen before the most recent attacks, has been targeted repeatedly by rebels supported by Turkish troops. Credit: Reuters

Dozens of Islamic State fighters have been killed in attacks by Russian and Turkish warplanes in northern Syria over the past 24 hours, the Turkish armed forces have announced.

Islamic State fighters, along with the Kurdish YPG, are not observing the ceasefire brokered by Russia and Turkey.

The Turkish military said 12 jihadists were killed in three Russian air strikes in the area of al Bab and south of the town while Turkish air strikes destroyed 17 IS targets and killed 26 militants in al Bab and Daglabash.

The military confirmed one Turkish soldier was killed and five wounded in an Islamic State attack to the south of al Azrak.

Syrian school hit by airstrike hours before ceasefire began

The bombs kept falling just hours before a ceasefire between Syria's pro-government forces and the rebel forces came into effect.

Forty people were thought to have died in an airstrike on a school in the outskirts of Damascus.

ITV News Correspondent Martin Geissler reports on the late bloodshed and the hopes that the nationwide truce can finally help bring peace to the war-torn country.

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