MOSCOW The Russian Defence Ministry called on the Free Syrian Army to stop fighting Kurdish units in the run-up to a cessation of hostilities in Syria and said it was considering a Syrian military request to supply ceasefire monitoring gear.
The ministry made its comments in a Moscow news conference after an emboldened President Bashar al-Assad vowed to take back all of Syria, hours before the start of a Russian and American-backed ceasefire, which Assad's opponents described as stacked in his favour.
The Russian Defence Ministry said the ceasefire, which it said would start at 1600 GMT, would be monitored using drones and that the Syrian army had said it was ready to diligently do its bit to uphold the agreement.
Lieutenant-General Sergei Rudskoi, a senior Russian Defence Ministry official, said Moscow was considering a Syrian military request to supply equipment that would allow Damascus to monitor artillery fire in and around Aleppo.
The ministry said Moscow would continue its own air strikes against Islamic State and the militant group formerly known as Nusra Front.
It said a joint U.S.-Russian coordination centre was being set up to determine Russian and U.S.-led coalition targets.
(Reporting by Gleb Stolyarov; Writing by Andrew Osborn; Editing by Lidia Kelly)