There will be no military operation in the Syrian province of Idlib, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu stated on Septembet 17 following face-to-face talks between and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin.
During the talks, the sides agreed to establish a de-militarized zone to separate militants from government troops in the Idlib de-escalation zone. All heavy weaponry, including battle tanks, and members of radical militant groups have to be withdrawn from the area, which then will be patrolled by Russian and Turkish troops.
On September 18, Syria welcomed the agreement via its state media citing official diplomatic sources.
“An official source at Foreign and Expatriates Ministry told SANA on Tuesday that the Syrian Arab Republic has always welcomed any initiative that stops bloodshed and contributes to reestablishing security and stability to each inch that was struck by terrorism as it stresses determination to go ahead in its war against terrorism until all the Syrian territories are liberated whether by military operations or by local reconciliations, which proved their capability in stopping bloodshed and reestablishing stability to areas taken place in in a way that contributes to the turning back of the displaced to their areas.
The source added that the Idleb agreement announced yesterday is a time-bound agreement and it is part of previous agreements on de-escalation zones resulted from the Astana track since the beginning of 2017, essentially stemming from commitment to sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Syrian territories as well as liberating all the Syrian territories whether from terrorism and terrorists or from any illegitimate foreign presence,” the country’s news agency SANA reported.