Syrian Arab Army (SAA) soldiers could be seen packing up their artillery in Maarat al-Numan, as a ceasefire brokered by Russia and Turkey came into effect on Sunday, in Syria’s northwestern Idlib province.
“As you can see, the vehicles are in non-operation status. We adhere to all agreements the government concludes, we adhere to it in order to keep the safety of civilians. The cross gates were also opened so that the civilians could safely exit to the safe zones. Thus, we adhered to such an agreement, and there are no combat operations in this area we are in currently, nevertheless, we carry on surveillance and observation for all insurgents’ movements,” said an SAA commander at the Idlib countryside base.
Despite the truce being agreed by Russia and Turkey on Friday, clashes between the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) militants in the Idlib countryside have intensified in recent weeks, with the OCHA estimating 300,000 people have fled their homes since December 2019.