The work to create a demilitarized zone in the Syrian province of Idlib is still ongoing and it is too early to speak about its end, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said during a press briefing on November 8.
“The implementation of the Russian-Turkish memorandum of September 17 on stabilization in the Idlib de-escalation zone continues. Despite practical success in forming a demilitarized line along the borders of this zone stipulated by the memorandum, it is too early to speak about the end of the necessary work,” Zakharova stated.
Zakharova’s remarks are an important admission of the current situation in northwestern Syria. Turkey has in fact contributed little efforts to force various militant groups opearing in the area to obey to the terms and conitions of the demilitarization agreement. Furthermore, Hayat Tahrir al-Sham and other radical militant groups voilate the ceasefire regime in the supposed demilitarized zone on a constant basis.
According to the Russian-Turkish memorandum signed in Sochi on September 17, it was supposed to create a 15-20km-deep demilitarized zone in Idlib by October 15. However, the timeline of the demilitarized zone implementation was expanded after it appeared that Turkey had not been able to guarantee the stability and safety in the area.