A few minutes into the new ceasefire in Greater Idlib, which became active at 00:01 of March 6, heavy clashes broke out between the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and Turkish-backed militants in the region.
The clashes were taking place near the towns of Fleifel, Sufuhon and Fatterah in the southern Idlib countryside. As usual, each side accused another of violating the new ceasefire, without presenting any evidence.
Despite this escalation, no airstrikes on Greater Idlib have been reported, so far. The Turkish military is also refraining from engaging in the clashes.
The ceasefire is a part of a new Russian-Turkish agreement on Greater Idlib. The agreement was finalized by Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish Counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan during a face-to-face meeting in Moscow on March 5.
While the ongoing clashes don’t represent a serious violation of the ceasefire, the situation may escalate further in the upcoming few hours.
Many al-Qaeda-affiliated groups, including Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS), are dominating the opposition-held part of Greater Idlib. In spite of Turkey’s guarantees, these groups could attempt to sabotage the new ceasefire, as they did with many previous ones.