The militants in the Idlib de-escalation zone in Syria were driven out to a safe distance from the city of Aleppo and the important M5 highway (connecting Damascus and Aleppo), the Russian Defense Ministry said.
«The situation in the Idlib de-escalation zone, where, as a result of retaliatory actions by the Syrian government forces, the terrorists who attacked them,» Khayyat Tahrir Al-Sham «(a banned terrorist group in the Russian Federation) were pushed to a safe distance from Aleppo and the M5 highway, was another moment of truth,» Major General Igor Konashenkov, spokesman for the Russian Defense Ministry, said on Wednesday.
He said that the signing of the Sochi agreements between Russia and Turkey in 2018 on the establishment of the Idlib de-escalation zone was welcomed by Western countries and the UN.
«At the same time, the key agreement between the agreement and the additional memorandum was Ankara’s obligations to demarcate and oust terrorists from the external borders of the de-escalation zone to a depth of 15-20 km and to withdraw heavy artillery weapons there,» Konashenkov said.
«The result of almost 18 months of the agreement was the crowding out of the officially recognized UN terrorist groups» Khayyat Tahrir Al-Sham «(banned in the Russian Federation), the Islamic Party of Turkestan (banned in the Russian Federation) and Khoras ad-Din (banned in the Russian Federation) all the militants of the «moderate opposition» to the north, to the Turkish border, «the general said.
«The fortified areas of the terrorists merged with the Turkish observation posts deployed by agreement,» Konashenkov said.
“Attacks and massive artillery shelling of neighboring peaceful settlements and the Russian Khmeimim air base from sporadic became daily,” Konashenkov said.
«All this time, nobody in Europe and the United States was interested in the real humanitarian situation in and around Idlib and the reasons for the demonstrative failure to fulfill its obligations by the Turkish side,» Konashenkov said.
He said that all of Russia’s official inquiries to the UN and Western countries about who brings humanitarian aid across the Turkish border and why almost all of it goes not to refugees, but to terrorists, remained unanswered. “We heard only lamentations about the need to“ preserve the Sochi agreements at all costs, ”the official representative of the Russian Defense Ministry said.
«In early February 2020, in response to another large-scale offensive by terrorists, the Sochi agreements regarding the creation of a» demilitarized zone «to a depth of 15-20 km were forced to be implemented by Syrian government forces,» he said.
According to Konashenkov, the militants of the Khayyat Tahrir Ash-Sham, Islamic Party of Turkestan, and Khoras ad-Din terrorist groups banned in Russia, along with heavy weapons, were thrown deep into the Idlib de-escalation zone.
«This made it possible to ensure the movement of more than 100 thousand civilians on the M5 highway between the largest Syrian cities of Aleppo-Hama and to protect the surrounding settlements from shelling,» Konashenkov said.
“From that moment on, Western capitals and UN representatives came down against Damascus with loud allegations of allegedly“ war crimes, “humanitarian catastrophe” and “millions of refugee flows” in Idlib. At the same time, photos from a tent city near the Turkish border are shown as evidence, deployed several years ago. As if at the click of a finger in the Western media, all Idlib’s terrorists have now turned into supposedly “representatives of the moderate opposition,” Konashenkov said.
«True, it is unclear how, among the supposedly» moderate «, the head of ISIS (banned in the Russian Federation terrorist group) al-Baghdadi was recently» spotted «discovered and destroyed, according to the USA, where did the leader of the officially recognized opposition go? Al-Julani, a group of the Jabhat al-Nusra (banned in the Russian Federation) al-Julani, together with its nearly twenty thousand thugs in the Turkish-controlled zone, and what about al-Julani’s recent statements about a joint struggle against the Syrian forces? » — said Konashenkov.
“The actions of the Turkish side, which, in violation of international law, transferred a strike force of Syrian Idlib with a mechanized division in order to“ achieve the Sochi agreements at all costs ”, no one in the West notices. And public threats to destroy all units of the Syrian government forces and return the highway M5 under the control of terrorists in the USA and Europe is allegedly called «Ankara’s legal right to defense,» said an official representative of the Russian Defense Ministry.
He said: «Against the backdrop of total cynicism and false Western concern about the humanitarian situation in the Idlib de-escalation zone, only the Russian center for reconciliation of the warring parties and the legitimate Syrian government daily deliver all the necessary assistance to the locals in the liberated areas.»
«It turned out that the Syrians tormented by terrorists did not even suspect the existence of their many pseudo-defenders in the Euro