Pro-Turkish militant groups block checkpoints in Idlib, Aleppo - TASS

Pro-Turkish armed groups impede the work of three checkpoints in Syria’s Idlib and Aleppo governorates, the Russian Centre for Reconciliation of the Conflicting Parties in Syria said on Saturday.

“The Saraqib and Miznas checkpoints in the province of Idlib, and the Abu Azedeen crossing in the Aleppo governorate, opened with the assistance of the Russian Centre for Reconciliation of the Conflicting Parties in Syria, continue to function. At the same time, according to the Russian reconciliation centre’s information, members of illegal armed groups operating on the Turkish-controlled territory, prevent civilians from leaving the area via the above-mentioned checkpoints, blocking people and their vehicles and threatening them with force and arrest,” the centre said in a statement.

“Militants set up roadblocks on roads leading to those crossings, and stage mock rallies of their supporters with the aim to disrupt the work of humanitarian corridors,” the statement reads.

A de-escalation zone was created in northwestern Syria in 2017 for militants who had refused to lay down arms after the government army’s drove them out of Eastern Ghouta near Damascus and the country’s southern regions. Ceasefire has been in effect there since March 6, 2020 following agreements achieved between Russia and Turkey. Pro-Turkish opposition groups and Jabhat al-Nusra (outlawed in Russia) terrorists have systematically violated the ceasefire by shelling both Syrian army positions and civilian communities.

Earlier, the Russian Reconciliation Centre for Syria sent an offer to Turkey to restore operation of three checkpoints on Syrian territories currently under Turkish control starting on March 25 due to complicated humanitarian situation. The centre’s deputy head Counter Admiral Alexander Karpov said reopening the checkpoints would demonstrate the process of peaceful settlement of the Syrian conflict.

(This article was originally published by Russian news agency TASS.)