Damascus relocates additional forces to Idlib de-escalation area — report

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MOSCOW, June 8. /TASS/. Syrian governmental forces reinforced their positions at the Idlib de-escalation area border, Sky News Arabia reported Tuesday, citing the leadership of a pro-Turkish militia in the Idlib province.

According to the report, Syrian government forces relocated a portion of the local population to the area bordering the Aleppo province. Damascus also moved tanks and artillery to the contact line in southern Idlib. According to the pro-Turkish militia, Damascus seeks to exert pressure on Turkey and the opposition this way, especially considering the recent re-election of President Bashar al-Assad.

Idlib is Syria’s only region, a significant portion of which still remains under militia control.

The de-escalation area in northwestern Syria has been established since 2017. Militants, who refused to lay down weapons after governmental operations in Eastern Ghouta and southern Syria, were transported there. A ceasefire regime has been in effect in the area since March 6 last year, in accordance with agreements achieved by Russia and Turkey. Despite that, pro-Turkish militias and Nusra Front terrorists (outlawed in Russia) regularly violate it, shelling Syrian Army positions and civilian settlements.