Syrian writer Michel Kilo: "Al-Assad cannot enter Idlib and al-Nusra might be dismantled or contained"

Editing Obaida Al Nabwani | Translation Nouha Salti | Translation Editing Vera Halvorsen 🕔 Publication Date: October 13, 2018, 11:39:42 PM wire POLITICS Politics

Turkey - SMART

On Saturday, Michel Kilo, a Syrian writer and activist, said that the Syrian government forces are not allowed to advance one meter into the Idlib governorate, according to the Turkish-Russian agreement. Kilo added that a settlement might be reached to dismantle or contain the al-Nusra Front (currently known as the Hayat Tahrir al-Sham).

In voice recordings on WhatsApp responding to journalists' questions, Kilo said that in the next phase, the Syrian government forces will probably shell several areas in the Idlib governorate, but they are unlikely to advance into the demilitarized zone.

Kilo also said that the Syrian government is not satisfied with the Turkish-Russian agreement, since it promised earlier that it will seize all Syrian areas. The agreement prevents the Syrian government forces from entering Idlib, which constitutes between 10 and 12 percent of the Syrian territory.

Kilo added that Turkey may retaliate if the Syrian government forces attempt to advance on the ground, but it will not retaliate on bombings. Turkey and Russia will discuss the bombings, which violate the demilitarization agreement, and reach a settlement between both parties.

About the Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (formally al-Nusra Front), Kilo believes that it will not stay as it is now, saying that the agreement suggests that Turkey will "take care of" the Nusra Front, which may include a dismantling or containment of the al-Nusra Front, according to Kilo.

In September, 2018, Turkey and Russia reached an agreement to establish a demilitarized zone on the perimeter of Idlib. Turkey announced that opposition factions have finished handing over heavy weapons from the zone while Russia said that the handing over process may last another one or two days. The Free Syrian Army considers the delay by Russia a justification for the Syrian government forces' failure to hand over their weapons.

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Editing Obaida Al Nabwani | Translation Nouha Salti | Translation Editing Vera Halvorsen 🕔 Publication Date: October 13, 2018, 11:39:42 PM wire POLITICS Politics
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