Russian and Turkey reached a new ceasefire on Idlib de-escalation zone in Syria’s northwestern region, Maj. Gen. Yuri Borenkov, commander of the Russian Reconciliation Center in Syria, announced late on January 9.
“In accordance with the agreements reached with the Turkish side, a ceasefire regime was introduced in the Idlib de-escalation zone from 02.00 pm Moscow time [11:00 GMT] on January 9,” RT quoted the Russian commander as saying.
The new ceasefire came as a surprise. Recent reports suggested that the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) was preparing to resume ground operations in southeast Idlib.
A month ago, the army launched a large-scale military operation in southeast Idlib, capturing more than 40 villages and towns in the region.
Al-Qaeda-affiliated Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS), which controls most of Idlib de-escalation zone, has not commented on the Russian announcement, so far.
During the last year, HTS and its allies took advantage of several similar ceasefire agreements to reorganize their forces, fortify their areas and launch new attacks. This will most likely be the case with the new ceasefire.