SYRIAN WAR REPORT – OCTOBER 16, 2018: IDLIB DEMILITARIZATION ZONE AGREEMENT REACHES ITS FIRST DEADLINE | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED


SYRIAN WAR REPORT – OCTOBER 16, 2018: IDLIB DEMILITARIZATION ZONE AGREEMENT REACHES ITS FIRST DEADLINE

On October 15, a first deadline in the roadmap for implementation of the Idlib demilitarization agreement passed. According to this agreement, militant groups had to withdraw all their heavy weaponry and equipment from the declared 15-20km deep zone and halt any actions against Syrian government forces. By October 20, all members of radical militant groups, like Hayat Tahrir al-Sham and its allies have to withdraw from the area.

Turkish media has already claimed that all heavy weaponry had been withdrawn by the so-called opposition. Nonetheless, recent rocket and mortar strikes on government targets in northern Hama and southwestern Aleppo show that this is at least partly untrue. Furthermore, Hayat Tahrir al-Sham and other radicals are not hurrying to abandon their positions. The situation is developing.

On the same day, Syria and Israel reopened the Quneitra border crossing in the Golan Heights for the first time in four years. The Syrian flag was raised at the crossing, and as it reopened, the UN peacekeeping force UNDOF sent a number of white trucks from Syria to the Israeli-held area. The Israeli side declared that the reopening of the crossing “symbolizes the return of the enforcement of the 1974 disengagement agreement”

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