The intensity of shelling from Syria’s Idlib de-escalation zone is not subsiding, which may indicate that militants acting there plan to unleash active hostilities, Major General Alexei Bakin, chief of the Russian Center for Reconciliation of the Opposing Parties in Syria, said on Monday.
"The analysis of the number of shelling attacks on Syrian settlements from the territory of the Idlib de-escalation zone demonstrates the absence of a tendency towards reducing the number of ceasefire violations and indicates that illegal armed groups are seeking to unleash active hostilities," TASS quoted him as saying.
According to earlier reports, Russian observers reported 15 ceasefire violations by militants in the provinces of Latakia, Aleppo, Idlib and Hama on October 20.
Four de-escalation zones were established in Syria under as agreement reached by the three Syrian ceasefire guarantor nations, namely Russia, Iran and Turkey, in May 2017. Three of them are now controlled by Damascus while the fourth one located in the Idlib governorate and partially in the neighboring Latakia, Hama and Aleppo governorates is still outside Damascus’ control, with a larger part of it being seized by Jabhat al-Nusra (a terrorist organization outlawed in Russia) militants.
The Russian reconciliation center continues to fulfill assigned tasks after the completion of the military campaign in Syria. The center’s officers regularly travel around the country's liberated areas to assess the humanitarian situation. The main efforts of the Russian military are now focused on assistance to the refugees returning to their homes and evacuation of civilians from de-escalation zones.