SYRIA: Russian-Turkish cease-fire agreement in Idlib violated

Idlib – The Russian-Turkish cease-fire agreement on Idlib has been violated, despite contradictory statements from both parties. The violations demonstrate the fragility of the cease-fire. Intermittent confrontations took place between the Syrian regime and Islamist militants opposing the regime in the countryside of Idlib and Hama.

Intermittent confrontations between the Syrian regime and armed Islamist opposition factions took place in the al-Ghab Plain in the Hama countryside, in addition to confrontations in the Falifel region in the southern countryside of Idlib. According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights there are deaths and wounded people on both sides of the fight.

Syrian regime forces violated the cease-fire agreement in Idlib on Saturday evening in confrontations with the opposition Islamist militants in villages adjacent to the M4 highway. A correspondent of a news agency in Idlib reported that the Syrian regime, backed by Iranian militias, extended its control over the villages Jidar and Bureij, northwest of the town Kafr Nabl.

Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar stated on Saturday that the cease-fire in Idlib had not witnessed any violations. Moscow pointed out to few shooting incidents in the region.

Anadolu News Agency quoted Akar saying, “We will remain a deterrent force to prevent any violations of the ceasefire. Nothing has happened since the ceasefire implementation.” Akar added that Turkey would use the right of self-defense in case of any attack that targets its forces or bases in the region.

Russian news agencies quoted the Russian Ministry of Defense saying that Idlib witnessed three shooting incidents during the past 24 hours. There were seven other shooting incidents in Latakia and nine others in Aleppo, the Russian agencies added.

It is worth noting that the areas of de-escalation witnessed a careful calmness on Saturday, and, for the second day, a complete absence of Syrian and Russian aircraft.