Syrian government forces have pushed Hayat Tahrir al-Sham terrorists back from the M5 highway and Aleppo city, a spokesman for the Russian Defence Ministry Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov said on March 4.
Maj. Gen. Konashenkov recalled that the Ankara main responsibility in the framework of the 2018 Sochi agreements was the separation of terrorists from moderate rebels, and the withdrawal of terrorists and heavy weapons out of the 15-20km demilitarized zone.
He added that Turkish observation posts were merged with terrorist bases and attacks on settlements in the government-held area as well as Hmeimim airbase became regular. So, in Februarty 2020, he said, Syrian government forces had to contribute own efforts to turn the Sochi deal into reality.
The spokesperson noted that now, 18 months since the signing of the agreement, internationally-recognized terrorist groups Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, the Turkestan Islamic Party and Horas al-Din were pushed back to the north, the border with Turkey.
#SYRIA | 🇷🇺 MoD: #Turkey has allowed its observation posts, established under 2018 #Sochi deal, to virtually merge with #terrorist bases in #Idlib. In violation of international law it has deployed a strike force the size of a mechanised division there ➡️ https://t.co/s97qRUmLis pic.twitter.com/FPpiIufroA
— Russian Embassy, Syria (@RusEmbSyria) March 4, 2020
Maj. Gen. Konashenkov noted that West continues to ignore the deployment of Turkish Greater Idlib in violation of international law.
“No one in the West notices the actions of the Turkish side, which, in violation of international law, has deployed a strike force the size of a mechanised division to Syria’s Idlib in order to ‘enforce the Sochi agreements at any cost'”, Konashenkov said in a statement.
He noted that public threats to destroy all units of the Syrian government forces and return the M5 highway to terrorist control are viewed by the United States and Europe as “Ankara’s legitimate right to defence”.
Konashenkov emphasized that the Syrian government has been unfairly accused by the West of alleged “war crimes”, “humanitarian catastrophe”, and “flows of millions of refugees” in Idlib.
“Amid the total cynicism and the West’s fake concerns over the humanitarian situation in the Idlib de-escalation zone, only the Russian centre for reconciliation of the opposing sides and the legitimate Syrian government deliver to the liberated areas all the needed assistance for local residents daily”, Konashenkov said.
“Syrians, tormented by terrorists, were not even aware of the existence of numerous pseudo-protectors in Europe and the United States, and of the prodigal humanitarian assistance, which was allegedly delivered over the past years.”
Maj. Gen. Konashenkov also recalled that ISIS head Abu Bakr al-Baghdady was found and eliminated by the US military on the border with Turkey, among supposedly “moderate” rebels.
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