“We believe that relative calm has established itself in Syria and we must work to consolidate this trend.” This statement was made by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, following his talks with the head of the Syrian regime, Bashar al-Assad, on September 7.
At a press conference with his Syrian counterpart, Walid al-Muallem, after meeting al-Assad, Lavrov took into consideration that Idlib is one of the most important areas of cooperation between Russia and Turkey.
According to Lavrov, this cooperation in Idlib helps separate moderate opposition from extremists and secures the international highway (M4) that connects Aleppo and Latakia, despite the slow implementation of the ceasefire agreement. Turkish-Russian.
The Russian Foreign Minister added: “I am sure that the agreement will be implemented successfully.”
However, the situation on the ground in northwestern Syria is not in line with Lavrov’s statement, as the bombing did not stop after the “Moscow” ceasefire agreement came into effect. March 6.
The attacks were not limited to artillery shelling or rocket launchers, as military planes carried out several airstrikes in Idlib province, particularly in its western countryside.
On September 11, the Russian “Reconciliation” Center operating in Syria accused the “Hay ‘at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS)”, one of the largest military forces in the areas controlled by the opposition, of preparing materials. toxic as provocations south of the de-escalation zone, according to Sputnik, a Russian state-controlled news agency.
These Russian statements did not come as news to Syrians in opposition areas, as they had heard them for years; however, they coincided with the land battles launched by the regime and Russia on the opposition regions.
Daily bombardment and attempted advancement
On the day Lavrov made these statements, September 7, the Syrian regime’s artillery was shelling the homes of civilians in the town of Ariha, south of Idlib.
On the same day, a civilian was kill and six others injured, including a child and a woman, while the city’s “Syrian civil defense” center was targeted.
The Syrian Response Coordination Group (SRCG) on the same day documented the regime’s targeting of 14 points in Ariha by artillery shells.
Meanwhile, Syrian regime forces continue their bombing raid villages and towns such as Nasfara, Deir Sunbul, Sfohen, Felfel, al-Fatirah, al-Barra in the countryside of southern Idlib and the hills of al-Kabineh in the countryside of Latakia, since September 8, a day after Lavrov’s statements.
On September 9, Russian fighter jets performed seven airstrikes in Idlib province, five of which targeted the west of the province, while one airstrike targeted Jisr al-Shughur and another hit the hills of al-Kabineh.
On September 11, military planes carried out airstrikes on the village of al-Sheikh Yusuf, in western Idlib, in which teams of the “Syrian civil defense” were hit by the airstrikes.
According to “Syrian civil defenseThree volunteers were injured after being targeted by regime artillery as they extinguished a fire in the village of Kafr Oweid following regime shelling.
On March 5, the province of Idlib was subject to the “Moscow” ceasefire agreement signed between Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Poutine, which provided for the creation of a “security corridor»On the international motorway« M4 ».
The agreement provided for joint Russian-Turkish patrols between the village of Trinbeh, west of the town of Saraqib (east of Idlib), and the village of Ain al-Hawr in the rural west of ‘Idlib. He also said that the southern areas of the international highway (M4) connecting Latakia and Aleppo’s “security corridor” would be under Russian supervision, while its north under Turkish supervision.
However, the SRCG has documented 2,387 ceasefire violations by the Syrian regime and Russia from the signing of the agreement until August 18.
These violations included targeting areas of opposition with Russian artillery and missile bombs, drones and fighter jets in several areas of Idlib, Hama and Aleppo.
The outskirts of the city of Harbanoush and the heights surrounding the area of al-Sheikh Bahar in northwest Idlib were the subject of more than ten Russian airstrikes on August 18.
On August 3, three civilians from the same family were killand seven others were injured in Russian airstrikes on Binnish in Idlib.
According to the SRCG, 18 civilians, including five children, have been killed by the regime’s bombing of opposition zones since the signing of the agreement until early July.