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Turkey-backed rebels violate ceasefire in Syria’s Idlib

Russia and Turkey agreed on a ceasefire in the de-escalation zone in Syria’s Idlib on March 5.

SNS | New Delhi |

The Turkey-backed rebel groups violated the cease-fire in Syria’s northwestern province of Idlib, according to the media report on Tuesday.

The rebels shelled several military positions in the Kafr-Nubul and Hazarin areas in Idlib countryside, causing damage, SANA news agency reported.

The Syrian army responded to the attacks by firing at the rebels’ positions.

Meanwhile, SANA cited a report by Russia’s Defence Ministry as saying that the rebels in Idlib have violated the cease-fire five times over the past 24 hours and 38 times since the cease-fire went into force on March 5.

Russia and Turkey agreed on a ceasefire in the de-escalation zone in Syria’s Idlib on March 5.

The agreement comes after several times of direct confrontation between Turkey and Syria in Idlib over the past two months when the Syrian forces have been campaigning against the Turkey-backed rebel groups in the province.

Last month, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that an operation in the Syrian province of Idlib was imminent in what he said was a “final warning” to the regime in Damascus, which is currently engaged in a Russian-backed operation to take control of one of the last rebel outposts.

Earlier in the month, Erdogan said that Turkey hopes for a ceasefire deal in Syria’s northwestern province of Idlib during a planned meeting with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin.

The Syrian regime and Iranian-backed groups earlier also launched a ground offensive in Aleppo province, a designated de-escalation zone, forcing at least 13,000 more civilians to move toward Turkey’s border.

The war in Libya, where Turkey is sending troops in support of the UN-recognized Government of National Accord, and the conflict in Syria, where Ankara and Moscow are both militarily involved, are also set to dominate the summit as well.

Turkey launched a cross-border assault on Kurdish fighters after the US decided to withdraw troops from Syria, a move that was criticised by the Republicans, with some terming it a “betrayal” of the Kurds.

More than 50 people, including civilians, have been killed last year as the Turkish offensive in Syria, which was launched by President Erdogan aimed at pushing the Kurdish forces away from its border.