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Jihadis Refuse To Leave Syria’s Southern Idlib per Russia-Turkey Deal

March 16, 2020 (EIRNS)—The al-Qaeda-like jihadi groupings in Syria’s southern Idlib province are refusing to abide by the terms of the ceasefire agreement struck on March 5 in Moscow by Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The agreement requires that the jihadi groups, which have organized themselves into a coalition called “Rouse the Believers,” withdraw from the line of contact with Syrian army units south of the M4 highway and move to at least 6 km north of the highway. However, Al Masdar News reports, this morning, citing opposition media, “they have rejected the outputs of all the Sochi, Moscow, Astana and Geneva meetings,” writing that they will continue to confront the Syrian Arab Army and its allies in northwestern Syria.

Al Masdar reported yesterday that, because of the refusal of the jihadi groups to evacuate from the area south of the M4, the chances are now high that the Syrian Armed Forces will resume their Idlib offensive, which is something that the Turkish government has opposed and hoped to avoid.

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