Syrian army opens corridor for people to leave rebel bastion

Clay Curtis
August 25, 2019

Turkish and Russian sources spoke about talks to keep the No. 9 Morek observation post in Idlib with the establishment of two new observation points in the north and west of the town of Khan Sheikhoun.

Turkey is keen to prevent a large-scale offensive in Idlib - home to three million people - where Turkey has 12 observation posts.

Earlier this week, air raids struck a Turkish military convoy making its way through Idlib.

"And I would still choose to stay in Idlib today rather than go to a regime area", he said, wishing to remain anonymous.

In Idlib, extremist groups led by the the Front for the Conquest of the Levant, formerly Al-Nusra Front, are retreating after the Syrian Army advanced from the north of Hama to the south of that province and took control of several localities.

The announcement of the meeting between President Vladimir Putin, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and Erdogan comes at a time when the Syrian army made advances into the last extremists' stronghold of Idlib in Syria's northwest.

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But Damascus denounced what it said was a Turkish attempt to save routed rebels.

Turkey and Russian Federation agreed in September 2018 to turn Idlib into a zone where acts of aggression are expressly prohibited.

There are still a small number of opposition fighters and anti-regime armed elements in the area.

The Syrian regime and its allies, however, have consistently broken the terms of the cease-fire, launching frequent attacks inside the de-escalation zone. "All the other observation posts foreseen or put in place under the Idlib agreement will continue to operate where they are", Kalin said. "Not everything is proceeding as we planned but we are in contact with the Turkish colleagues to adjust the agreements we have".

Syria has been locked in a vicious civil war since early 2011, when the Assad regime cracked down on pro-democracy protests with unexpected ferocity. Over 70,000 displaced by Idlib violence, Syrian officials say By Weedah Hamzah, dpa = Beirut (dpa) - More than 70,000 people were displaced from the southern countryside of Idlib province in Syria during August due to a surge in violence, Idlib's health directorate said on Wednesday. The fighting also killed more than 2,000 people, including hundreds of civilians.

More than 10 million people have been displaced during the course of Syria's more than eight-year conflict, according to the UN.

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