Syrian War Report – September 19, 2018: Militants Reject Demilitarization Zone Agreement In Idlib

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An implementation of the demilitarized zone agreement in Idlib reached during face-to-face talks between Russian and Turkish presidents on September 17 has appeared to be not a simple task as it has been pointed out by many experts.

On September 18, Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (formerly Jabhat al-Nusra, the Syrian branch of al-Qaeda), the Islamic Turkistan Party, Jaish al-Izza and Hourras Addin refused to respect the agreement and to withdraw its forces and military equipment from the contact line.

On the same day, Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu stated that work to establish a new security system in the Idlib de-escalation zone had started. He recalled that all heavy weapons have to be withdrawn from the demilitarized zone by October 10 and radical groups have to withdraw their forces by October 15.

So, Turkey and the Syrian-Iranian-Russian alliance have to force the militants to obey the agreement if they seek to enforce the demilitarized zone in time. Pro-militant media outlets have already started spreading speculations that Damascus will not act up to its part of the agreement thus creating a media environment to justify actions of Hayat Tahrir al-Sham and its allies.

The Syrian Arab Army (SAA) ambushed two groups of ISIS members in the Homs-Deir Ezzor desert. Two ISIS members were killed and seven arrested as well as some weapons and six motorcycles were seized by government troops in the area 30 km southwest of Palmyra. Separately, the SAA arrested seven ISIS members and seized 10 motorcycles, 146 pieces of hashish and 14 bags of Captagon containing 10 thousand pills in the area of Froua 70km southeast of Palmyra.

The situation is developing over the downed Russian IL-20 during a September 17 Israeli strike on Syria. Following the attack Defense Minister Shoigu stated that Israel is the side bearing a full responsibility for the incident and added that Moscow reserves “the right to respond”. President Putin described the incident as a string of tragic circumstances. “As for retaliatory measures, they will be first and foremost aimed at additionally ensuring the security of our military personnel and facilities in Syria,” Putin stated.

The Israeli Defense Forces and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu expressed their “regret” at the loss of the Russian lives. Nonetheless, the Israeli side claimed Syria, Iran and Hezbollah are the side responsible for this situation.

There are currently two versions of the shot down: Russia says that Israeli F-16 warplanes used the IL-20 plane as cover to hide from Syrian air defense fire. Israel claims that the IL-20 was shot down by indiscriminate fire from the Syrian Air Defense Forces and there were not Israeli warplanes in the area when the incident took place.

The situation is developing. However, it’s clear that the September 17 incident will further complicate the de-escalation in the region.

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  • PZIVJ

    Time for the SAA to enforce the DMZ deal.
    Kill the Jihadist trash. :)

  • frankly

    So F.uk.us and evil fiends have sided with those who don’t want peace. Hmm not so shocking.

  • Daniel Miller

    I still cant belive the idiocy of the SAA and IAF…

    • FlorianGeyer

      If all goes to plan, the Russian strategy will be seen as brilliant.

      ‘I still can’t believe’ that some people think real war is a video game convention that has a time limit. :)

  • even if they deny, fools thinking SAA will enter is stupid. you will never enter mark my word

    • FlorianGeyer

      The ‘word’ of a Turk is similar to the word of an Israeli and history shows how much the ‘words’ are understood to be those of honest men.

      • jorge

        Good day Florian, if the guy is from the Greywolves that means he is a fascist. I have blocked him long time ago.

        • FlorianGeyer

          I will also add him to my blocked list along with Putinbeater when I see future posts. They are just a waste of time.

  • paul ( original )

    We have seen these ‘withdrawal of heavy weapons from the contact line’ agreements before – in the Donbass . Not a great success in my judgement. Russia seems partial to these sort of agreements. Though the track record is not very good and in this case looks completely unworkable. Expect nothing from the Turks, If you do you will be very disappointed.

  • Hide Behind

    While I can see where the attempts for a peacefull resolution rather than what looks to be a damn hard fight can be sought, just what the hell is peace other than no warfare?
    If a people are living under the oppressive heels of a tyranical secular or religious government and not having to engage in actual warfare as in combat arms, what have they surrendered of their inner peace while doing so.
    It is understandable that a Syrian military after all the years of sacrifice and seeing the terrible loss of life and limb will grasp at straws to avoid further bloodshed but it is their foremost duty to protect their nations peoples and National identity, no matter the personal sacrifices.
    The dignity of Syria is at stake here, and if foreign nations invluding their Russian allies cannot insure that dignity then what is their duty but to do it on own.
    Syrian militaryand its allied Hez and Iran have now proven it is a viable force that if it wants
    it by itself can utterly crush their enemies, other than Turkish, US/NATO and Kurds, that reside on their lands.
    The sovereign Damascus government should kindly tell Russia, OK you failed with that approach so now lets just seriouslygo and kick some ass.
    The dignity and “Honor”of Sovereignty of Syria is at stake.
    To not act now is to take lightly the sacrifices of so many military men and their families.
    Tell the bad guys to surrender right now or they will “All” soon recieve a one way ticket to Hell !
    By this action they will also be slapping those white assed,US Brit French, and eurocentrics faces.

    • FlorianGeyer

      Have patience.
      Your wife/girlfriend must be rather frustrated if you always wish to climax too soon :)

      • Hide Behind

        With my wife and my soulmate of 45 years marriage, she passed on 7 years, 5 months and 13 days ago, we made love not war so please do not attempt to impose you and boyfriends sex lives frustrations upon others of this world.
        It always amazes me how so many of seemingly intelligence in some matters always end up with no higher thoughts than above their crotch levels.

        • FlorianGeyer

          If you are still counting the days , its high time you move on then rather than attempting to use your deceased wife as a foil.

          She is a fond memory NOT a weapon.

          • Ma_Laoshi

            Not my fight but I have to say something. Step back, take a breath, and leave his late wife out of it, Florian; you’re better than this.

          • FlorianGeyer

            I can understand his feelings of loss and all of us have been through that in some form.

            I do however object to such feelings being increasingly utilised in attempts to silence debate and create a sterilised Safe Space. The US as a nation is currently fracturing because of the use of ’emotions’ as a weapon.

            If people consider their emotions to be private, that fine with me BUT they should not ‘weaponise’ their emotions if they wish for them to be omitted from debate.

          • purplelibraryguy

            That really, really isn’t why the US is fracturing. I’ve heard some big stories about the horror, the horror of liberal political correctness, but that has to be the hugest whopper yet. Could we get real?
            And dude, weaponising emotions? You were the one who made the scuzzy metaphor in response to a perfectly reasonable (whether one agrees with it or not) post. Now you’re all hurt because his comeback was a tad on the crushing side. Grow up and deal. You don’t actually have to win every little exchange, the sky will not fall if you just move on after you fuck up.

          • FlorianGeyer

            Whatever.

      • putinbeater

        you are sooo woeful, payed russian troll!

        • jorge

          Blocked.

        • FlorianGeyer

          You are semi literate and a zio troll.

    • Empire’s Frontiers

      That’s not how to fight, or win.

    • paul ( original )

      Although I am certain that Russia help saved Syria; I also think for the
      Syrians this help might be a two edged sword. When it comes to a
      settlement it looks like Russia,Turkey and to a lesser extent Iran
      are in the driving seat. I think the Syrians know this and have been
      extremely clever in accepting things that are basically unpalatable.
      The Syrians are clear, it is all of Syria that
      is to be liberated. I think they are alone in this aim.

    • Sencer

      Everyone likes Don Quichotte , but the reality is he dies at the end .

  • Ma_Laoshi

    Of course. Without the fighting strength of HTS broken, and the SAA on the ground and victorious in Idlib, the loyalist side has no way to enforce an agreement. So now any “assurances” which Erdogan gave Putin will become the start of further envelope-pushing and brinkmanship. Think about it, if Turkey could’ve been trusted by Russia c.s., then this whole soap opera wouldn’t have been needed to begin with.

  • Criticalthinker101

    Here’s another few versions.
    1)Russia used S400 and mistakenly hit their own plane.
    2)Eye witness’ in Latakia claim two hostile planes shot down and, in this scenario, Israel likely responded by hitting Russian plane
    3)Iranian S300 clone is on the ground and hit the Russian plane. – claims the Damascus airport attack was Iranian Cargo plane, delivering clone S300.

    It’s worth reading what Ron Paul’s written for a few bits not being mentioned by anyone else.

    Hypernormalisation and Perception Management are everything!

    That is all.

    • putinbeater

      see you, cllect money and you can make 3 different movies in hollywood

      • Criticalthinker101

        Israeli Culture Minister Miri Regev is calling for state funding of the Haifa International Film Festival (HAIFF) to be re-appraised, raising objections about films in its upcoming 34th edition that she considers could “harm Israel”.

        According to a letter obtained by Israeli media, Regev wrote to Israeli Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon, demanding his ministry re-examine state funding for Haifa, saying it had broken the law by programming films that undermined “Israeli values and symbols”

  • purplelibraryguy

    The “militants” refused? Gosh, I’m so surprised! You could knock me over with a feather!
    Betcha the Syrians only agreed to it because they knew it would fall through almost instantly, but in the mean time their boys can rest a little and they can straighten out the supply situation and whatnot. And as usual, the Russians are always willing to play for peaceful solutions they won’t get so that they can then say “Hey, we tried, we’re the reasonable ones here, if they get turned into hamburger that’s because it was the only option they’d agree to.”

    • Ma_Laoshi

      … and doing it in that way you’ll feel very good about how cleverly you played the “long game”. But meanwhile the jihadists will have been re-armed and reinforced with (pro-)Turkish units, so the SAA will take many more losses liberating Idlib. For the Syrians this never was a game, you see. A short month ago, all reports indicated the moderates’ morale was in the gutter. Now Russia is reeling against the ropes, Turks are on the ground helping a hand, and crucially, they know the US Navy is over the horizon backing them up; can’t but make a difference of night and day.

      If you want at least in part a negotiated solution limiting the carnage, then in the Middle East it’s usually a good idea to show you’re the strongest, and strike while the iron’s hot. The loyalists seemed to just have understood all this during their successful campaign in the South. Guess Uncle Sam was none to pleased with how that one played out; or the Kremlin critters are once again distracted by all the money they could make if Erdogan is appeased just a little bit more.

      • purplelibraryguy

        You have a point. Although, those guys had been sitting there in Idlib waiting for the inevitable for like years. If they weren’t armed yet they never will be. Meanwhile, the SAA has just been through a gruelling marathon of death for that whole time. A few days off before the big push can’t hurt.

        But it’s certainly bad if Turkey moves into Idlib in a big way, even just big enough that they get drawn into a direct war with Syria once Syria goes in.

  • Ma_Laoshi

    Meanwhile, after a week of humiliation, RT has a photo of Big Bad Putin testing the latest Kalashnikov sniper rifle. Does VVP have someone to protect him, and tell him that he’s crossing into self-parody? This is the style of Poroshenko, the chocolate king in army fatigues; and a lot of good it does for the respect the latter enjoys in the world.

  • alejoeisabel

    Al Qaeda knows that the United States and Israel has their back, so why should the head choppers surrender?