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Russia deploys military police in Syria's Eastern Ghouta

Syrian girls sit in front of shops in the rebel held besieged Douma neighbourhood of Damascus, Syria July 23, 2017. REUTERS/Bassam Khabieh

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia deployed its military police in the Eastern Ghouta area east of Damascus on Monday to try to enforce a de-escalation zone it said it had agreed with the Syrian opposition.

The Syrian military declared a cessation of hostilities on Saturday in the rebel-controlled region near the capital.

The Russian Defence Ministry said in a statement on Monday that its military police had set up two checkpoints and four observation posts in the area.

Military police had also been deployed to try to enforce a different de-escalation zone in southwest Syria on Friday and Saturday, it said in the same statement, saying two checkpoints and 10 observation posts had been set up there.

“Thus, thanks to measures taken by the Russian Federation, we have managed to stop military action in two of Syria’s most important areas,” the defence ministry said.

Talks on creating a new de-escalation zone in the province of Idlib were continuing, it said.

Reporting by Andrew Osborn; Editing by Alexander Winning