CALM BEFORE THE STORM? Situation in North Syria “Stable” as Lavrov Heads to Turkey


According to a new report released by the Russian Federation’s Ministry of Defense, Russia’s representatives at the joint Russian-Turkish commission on the ceasefire in Syria recorded 13 violations over the last 24 hours. The Turkish side, meanwhile, reported four.

“The situation in the de-escalation zones is assessed as stable. The Russian part of the representation of the joint Russian-Turkish commission on issues related to violations of the cessation of combat operations recorded 13 instances of shooting in the provinces: four in latakia, eight in Aleppo, and one in Hama. The Turkish part of the representation recorded four cases of shooting in the provinces: three in Idlib and one in Latakia,” the statement reads.

Russia’s MoD report added that the Russian Center for the Reconciliation of Opposing Sides in Syria organized one humanitarian operation in the Hirdjilla IDP camp in the Damascus province, where 860 food parcels weighing in at 3.7 tons were delivered and medical care was administered to 60 people. According to the ministry’s figures, this brings the total number of persons whom the center has afforded medical aid rise to 87,741, and the amount of total humanitarian loads to 2,903.06 tons.

At the same time, no new residential areas have joined the ceasefire process, leaving the number at 2,518. The number of armed groups that have declared compliance with the ceasefire has not changed either, amounting to 234.

The statement comes as part of a daily series of reports coordinated with respect to the memorandum on establishing de-escalation zones in the Syrian Arab Republic signed by the Russian Federation, the Turkish Republic, and the Islamic Republic of Iran on 4 May 2017.

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Just yesterday it was reported that Erdogan, facing economic crisis triggered by new punitive US tariffs against Ankara, has announced the final countdown to a new Turkish military operation in Syria. The scope and aims of this supposedly imminent operation have not been unveiled.

At the same time, rumors and reports continue to circulate which suggest that the Syrian government is preparing an offensive on the country’s northern Idlib zone, where various terrorist and Turkish forces are concentrated. Kurdish YPG commander in chief recently promised Kurdish support to any potential Syrian offensive in the northern Sweida province. 

Today, August 14th, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is visiting Ankara, where the agenda for discussions with his Turkish counterpart includes cooperation on regulating the situation in Syria and expanding trade and economic ties between the two countries.

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