On October 7, Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad said that the Russian-Turkish deconfliction agreement on the northern governorate of Idlib is a “temporary measure” and vowed to restore his government control of the whole territory of Syria.
“What we have witnessed recently of Western hysteria ahead of Idlib battle stems from the fact that it is a fateful thing for them, because the Syrians’ victory in it will lead to the failure of their plans and to Syria’s return as yet a more serious prospect in the face of their project in the region than it was before,” the Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) quoted Assad remarks during a meeting of the Central Committee of al-Baath Arab Socialist Party in the city of Damascus as saying.
Furthermore, al-Assad predicted that Syria’s enemies will ramp up their attempts to drain it militarily, politically, economically and socially as it progresses towards victory. The Syrian president noted that this will incur internal challenges, which are no less serious than the ongoing war.
Last month, Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said during a press conference that the deconfliction agreement on Idlib is an intermediate step, which is aimed at eradicating the terrorist threat.
Under the agreement, a 15-20km demilitarized zone will be established around Idlib by October 20. Opposition sources confirmed that the Turkish-backed Free Syrian Army (FSA) is already withdrawing its heavy weapons from the zone. However, more radical groups are yet to obey the agreement.