Russia will maintain cooperation with Turkey to bring stability to Idlib province

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MOSCOW – Russian Foreign Ministry official Maria Zakharova said on Thursday that Moscow would continue to cooperate with Turkey to bring stability to the demilitarized zone of Idlib.

“We believe it is important to comply with all agreements in Idlib aimed at continuing to fight terrorists and guaranteeing the security of the civilian population. In this context, we will continue to cooperate with Turkey under the Sochi Memorandum of 17 September 2018,” said Zakharova.

On August 2, a ceasefire came into force throughout Idlib province.

The Syrian military command said it would halt the offensive if Turkey abides by the agreements under the Idlib Ceasefire Memorandum, signed on September 17, 2018 in Sochi, Russia, which deals with the withdrawal of heavy weapons 20 km from the demilitarized zone.

Three days later, Syrian forces resumed their military operations after armed groups seized the opportunity from truce to attack the army and populated areas of that region.

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Syria has been in armed conflict since March 2011, in which government forces confront opposition paramilitary groups and terrorist organizations.

In Idlib province, since 2015, there are more than a dozen different armed groups, the largest of which is the Al-Qaeda affiliated Al-Nusra Front.

Syria has been in a state of war since 2011 because of US imperialist aggression, with government forces fighting numerous opposition groups, as well as militant and terrorist organizations.

Russia and Turkey, along with Iran, are guarantors of the ceasefire in Syria. Moscow has also been helping Damascus by supporting the fight against terrorist groups, providing humanitarian aid to local residents and facilitating the return of refugees.

This week, the Syrian Armed Forces also liberated two villages in southern Idlib province in the northwest of the country after clashing with terrorists. An Armed Forces brigadier said the liberation followed violent clashes between the military and terrorists of the Al-Nusra Front, during which several combatants were killed and military equipment seized.

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