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35,000 Syrians return to Idlib following ceasefire 

March 31, 2020 at 1:11 am

Syrian families, who have been forcibly displaced due to the ongoing attacks carried out by Assad regime and its allies, are seen at a camp in Idlib, Syria on 14 February 2020 [Muhammed Said/Anadolu Agency]

Some 35,000 civilians displaced by the Bashar Al-Assad regime and its backers’ attacks have returned to their homes in Syria’s northwestern province of Idlib, following the ceasefire deal that was brokered between Turkey and Russia in March.

The director of Syria’s Response Coordination Group, Mohammad Hallaj, informed Anadolu Agency that: “Some of the displaced Syrians have returned to their homes immediately after the Syrian regime operations ceased.”

Syria’s Response Coordination Group carries out work on migration data in the region.

Turkey and Russia agreed on a ceasefire commencing on 12 January. However, the Assad regime and its allies defied the agreement and launched continuous attacks.

READ: Regime, Russia kill 387 civilians in Idlib, Syria

In response, the Turkish and Russian presidents gathered in Moscow on 5 March to reach a new deal, and a fresh ceasefire went into effect the following day. Although regime forces have violated the deal at several points, the parties currently remain loyal to the ceasefire.

Russia supports Al-Assad forces, while Turkey backs militants who have opposed him for nearly nine years.

Following the Astana talks of 2017, Turkey, Russia, and Iran agreed to turn Idlib city and three other regions into “de-escalation zones”, where acts of aggression were prohibited.

Which county has the fate of Syria in it's hand? - Cartoon [Sabaaneh/MiddleEastMonitor]

Which county has the fate of Syria in it’s hand? – Cartoon [Sabaaneh/MiddleEastMonitor]

However, the regime and Iran-backed foreign terror groups captured three of the zones with support of Russian airstrikes, and Idlib became their new target.

The regime forces intensified its military deployment in September 2018, which paved the way for the Sochi agreement between Turkey and Russia the same month.

Later on, the Syrian regime, after pausing its aggression, launched a ground offensive in May 2019 and captured south and southeastern Idlib, northern parts and eastern rural areas of Hama, and many settlements of southern and western rural parts of Aleppo.

Since the Sochi deal, the regime and allies’ attacks killed over 1,800 civilians, and nearly two million people have been displaced due to aggression since early 2019.