On November 2, the Damascus government and Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) reopened a vital crossing in the town of Murak in the northern Hama countryside under a deal that was brokered by Russia, according to the Syrian news outlet Enab Baladi.
The crossing, which links the government-held and opposition-held areas in northwestern Syria, was closed three months ago due to the tension in the region. The decision to reopen the crossing was likely a result of the Russian-Turkish deconfliction agreement on the governorate of Idlib.
The Damascus government has not commented on this development yet. However, Mohamad Taha al-Ahmad, minister of economy in the HTS-affiliated Salvation Government, said that the Murak crossing was reopened to revive the economy in the opposition-held area and improve the life of the civilians there.
The reopening of the crossing will likely bring more stability to the demilitarized zone, which was established around Idlib under the deconfliction agreement. Russia and the Damascus government will likely use the crossing as a mean to pressure HTS into respecting the agreement.