Syrian War Report – October 16, 2018: Idlib Demilitarization Zone Agreement Reaches Its First Deadline

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On October 15, a first deadline in the roadmap for implementation of the Idlib demilitarization agreement passed. According to this agreement, militant groups had to withdraw all their heavy weaponry and equipment from the declared 15-20km deep zone and halt any actions against Syrian government forces. By October 20, all members of radical militant groups, like Hayat Tahrir al-Sham and its allies have to withdraw from the area.

Turkish media has already claimed that all heavy weaponry had been withdrawn by the so-called opposition. Nonetheless, recent rocket and mortar strikes on government targets in northern Hama and southwestern Aleppo show that this is at least partly untrue. Furthermore, Hayat Tahrir al-Sham and other radicals are not hurrying to abandon their positions. The situation is developing.

On the same day, Syria and Israel reopened the Quneitra border crossing in the Golan Heights for the first time in four years. The Syrian flag was raised at the crossing, and as it reopened, the UN peacekeeping force UNDOF sent a number of white trucks from Syria to the Israeli-held area. The Israeli side declared that the reopening of the crossing “symbolizes the return of the enforcement of the 1974 disengagement agreement”

At the same time, a crossing between Syria and Jordan was opened for the first time in three years. The reopening of the crossing allows the sides to restore free movement of civilians and goods between the sides.

The reopening of Naseeb offers major financial relief to the Damascus government by restoring a much-needed gateway for Syrian exports to other Arab countries. The resumption of commercial trade is also a diplomatic victory for Syria and its allies.

Furthermore, these developments show the success of the de-escalation of the situation in southern Syria, a move supported by the Russian side for a long time. It seems that despite all the speculations in the mainstream media, the Syrian-Iranian-Russian alliance has employed the right approach and achieved an important victory in the area.

Additionally, Syria’s Foreign Minister Walid al-Moualem made a statement highlighting the further course of action in the conflict for Damascus once again saying that areas in the country’s north “had to return to Syrian sovereignty.” “After Idlib, our target is east of the Euphrates,” Muallem said, referring to the territory seized by the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF). Nonetheless, he added that the Damascus government is ready to hold negotiations with the Kurdish-dominated faction within the existing legal framework, meaning first of all within the constitution.

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  • At least 2 SAA soldiers were killed during GRAD rocket attack couple of days ago.
    Another SAA soldier was killed by sniper.
    But Turkey claims that there are not heavy weapons in IDLIB and that there are not ceasefire violations in IDLIB.
    Well I call it double standards.
    SAA and Russia keep deals and “moderate rebels” and Turkey militia not.
    What a surprise.
    And it is only the beginning of the IDLIB problems.

    • Lupus

      Good lets hope they will provide enough reason to wipe them of the earth after all

      • Mustafa Mehmet

        go on lupo you can do it comon wipe bastard jihadi assss

  • Daniel Miller

    at 2:33mins that truck looks amazing with that S-60 on the back.

  • gustavo

    Are there going to be 1,000 deadlines ? These terrorists will cause a lot of problems and suffering to Syria people ( and Russia basis) in the near future and forever, as soon they are alive. Better to get rid of them right NOW, do not waist your time. SAA is ready and overpowered at the border at Idlib, just do it.

  • occupybacon

    I want to see this cute toys in action https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-GC2zpEcycY