Syrian IDPs not optimistic about the Russian-Turkish agreement in Idlib

The nine -year-long Syrian war was the cause of death, displacement and asylum of hundreds of thousands, also due to the failure of its many truces. Forcibly displaced Syrians living in camps and who escaped the bombings by the Syrian regime and the militants, expressed their dissatisfaction and lack of optimism about the Russian-Turkish agreement, describing it as fragile because it was violated only hours after signing the agreement.

Many Syrians living in makeshift camps and spending the nights in olive fields in the northwest of the country, say they have no hope in the most recent agreement. Others are reluctant to return back to their homes before a political solution is reached that guarantees their safety. Furthermore, many Syrians oppose resuming their lives under the leadership of the Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, while others do not trust that the warring parties will maintain the truce.

Only hours after the ceasefire, bloody confrontations took place in Idlib exposing the fragility of the agreement between Russia, which supports Assad, and Turkey, which supports the Islamist militants. A source at the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights stated that many clashes took place between Syrian forces and the Turkistan Islamic Party in the Jabal al-Zawiya area resulting in the death of 15 persons.

Gallip Dalai, a researcher at the German Institute for International and Security Affairs stated: “This agreement was not formulated in a way that guarantees its continuation, but rather, in a way that makes it doomed to fail, and unfortunately, in the near future. Any cease-fire arrangement in Idlib, unless it includes a no-fly zone, will be doomed to fail. The previous agreements never led to a de-escalation, but rather froze the crisis until the next escalation.”

On Friday, Dutch Foreign Minister Stef Blok, upon his arrival to meet his European counterparts, stated that the ceasefire must be reinforced by setting up a no-fly zone and thus prevent further bombings of e.g. hospitals.