21 May 2019 10:25

Russian-Syrian drill held near Golan Heights in al-Quneitra province

DAMASCUS. May 21 (Interfax) - The Russian military police and Syrian government forces have held a joint exercise near the Golan Heights in the freed al-Quneitra province.

Military Police Commander Vladimir Ivanovsky visited the military police base in Syria to supervise the exercise.

"The Russian Armed Forces and the military police enabled the UN mission supported by the Russian military to resume patrols in August 2018," Ivanovsky told the press on Tuesday, adding that the Russian military was monitoring the situation in the demilitarized zone and controlling the implementation of the ceasefire.

The Russian military was deployed to the Golan Heights almost a year ago. Before that, the al-Quneitra province was held by militants. Syrian government forces pushed the extremists out of the province in spring 2017, and al-Quneitra was transformed into a demilitarized zone controlled by the Russian military police.

The military police created transport infrastructure and provided power and water supply.

The Quneitra checkpoint, which closed in August 2014 because of the hostilities, reopened on the contact line between Syrian and Israeli forces on October 15, 2018. As a result, the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force was able to reinstate its presence in the Golan Heights area.