An amateur video uploaded on a social media website on 1 March purports to show a Russian plane firing rockets over the Syrian town of Harbnafseh despite a cessation of hostilities agreement in force since 27 February. The footage shows large plumes of smoke rising in several locations in Hama's southern province following explosions, while jets can be heard flying overhead, in a supposed breach of the fragile truce.
The Syrian government and rebels have accused each other of violating the agreement drawn up by the United States and Russia with the aim of halting nearly five years of fighting. International observers have acknowledged violations of the agreement while stressing that the level of violence has decreased considerably.
The agreement does not include Islamic State (Isis) and the Nusra Front, and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his Russian backers have made it clear they intend to keep attacking the jihadist groups. The Russian Defence Ministry said it was refraining from striking areas in Syria where the "moderate opposition" was respecting the ceasefire agreement, Interfax news agency reported.
A total of 15 ceasefire violations have been registered in Syria in the past 24 hours, Interfax quoted the Russian military as saying. The war has killed at least 250,000 people and forced millions to flee their homes. The United Nations hopes the cessation of hostilities will allow it to deliver aid to more than 150,000 people in besieged areas of Syria.