Large armed groups of terrorists in Idlib, Syria, refuse to recognize the Russian-Turkish agreement, and were able to rearm with external support and take counter-offensive actions, the Russian Foreign Ministry’s Information and Press Department said.
“In the de-escalation zone in Syrian Idlib, large armed groups of various Islamic groups are concentrated, including Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham and Khurras al-Din, which continue to use the ideological principles and terrorist methods of Al- Qaeda.” The mentioned organizations, incidentally, refused to recognize the latest Russian-Turkish agreements on the introduction of a ceasefire regime in this region,” the Russian foreign ministry told Interfax.
The Russian Foreign Ministry noted that “in the ranks of the jihadists grouped there, there are many ISIS members, including those who were evacuated at one time along the “security corridors” from other regions of Syria.”
“The militants of the terrorist groups took advantage of the respite, recovered, reequipped, including thanks to outside support, and are now taking counter-offensive actions,” the Foreign Ministry underlined.
Meanwhile, sources close to the Syrian Arab Army reported that there was infighting between the Jihadist groups in Majdalya in Idlib, over letting Turkey patrol the M4 highway along with Russia.
Infighting between the Jihadis group in Majdalya #Idlib over letting the Turks patrol the M4 with the Russians.
The clashes are taking place near a Turkish outpost.
— Syrian_MC (@Syrian_MC) March 15, 2020
The first joint Russian-Turkish patrol of a section of the M-4 highway in Syria was cut short due to militant provocations, the Russian Defense Ministry said.
On Sunday, Russia and Turkey set out on their first joint patrol along the security corridor in #Idlib, agreed as part of a ceasefire deal reached by presidents Vladimir Putin and Recep Tayyip Erdogan in early March
— Russia in USA ?? (@RusEmbUSA) March 15, 2020
According to the Russian side, the provocations were planned by radical gangs not controlled by Turkey. To hinder the patrol, the terrorists tried to use civilians, including women and children, as a “human shield”, the military department said.
The Ministry of Defense noted that the joint Russian-Turkish coordination center decided to reduce the length of the patrol route to prevent incidents that could cause civilians to suffer.
According to it, “the Turkish side has been given extra time to take measures to neutralize terrorist groups and ensure the security of joint patrol of the M4 highway.”
Joint patrols should not only ensure the safety of the movement of civilians along the M-4 highway (Latakia-Aleppo), which is important for Syria, but also become a guarantee of preventing the resumption of armed conflict in the region.
So far, it’s not proving effective.
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