MOSCOW, September 14. /TASS/. The Syrian government ensured the functioning of the humanitarian corridor and the Abu al-Duhur checkpoint starting on September 13, so that civilians could leave the Idlib de-escalation zone and so that militants from the zone could lay down arms, Major General Alexei Bakin, the chief of the Russian center for reconciliation of conflicting sides in Syria, told reporters on Saturday.
"Starting on September 13, the Syrian government provided operation of a humanitarian corridor and the Abu al-Duhur checkpoint for the civilian population’s voluntary and unimpeded exit from the Idlib de-escalation zone and for those militants who are willing to surrender arms," Bakin said.
"Points providing urgent treatment, drinking water, hot meals, medicines and daily necessities were equipped for those who are fleeing the area controlled by illegal armed groups. Vehicles were arranged to take people to safe areas," the general added.
According to Bakin, the militants who were unwilling to surrender are continuing to break the ceasefire. On September 13, as many as 34 cases of shelling were recorded against Syrian inhabited localities in the regions of Aleppo, Latakia, Idlib and Hama.
Four de-escalation zones were established in Syria under an agreement reached by the three Syrian ceasefire guarantor nations, namely Russia, Iran and Turkey, in May 2017. De-escalation zones include Eastern Ghouta, northern parts of the Homs governorate, the Idlib governorate and some parts of its neighboring areas in the Latakia, Hama and Aleppo governorates, as well as the Daraa and al-Quneitra governorates in southern Syria. Damascus took control of the three zones in 2018. The fourth zone consists of the Idlib province and some areas of the neighboring provinces of Latakia, Hama and Aleppo. Idlib is out of the government’s control, as Jabhat al-Nusra (banned in Russia terrorist group) mostly operates there.
The Russian reconciliation center continues to fulfill the tasks assigned to them after the completion of the military campaign in Syria. They regularly travel around the country's liberated areas to assess the humanitarian situation. The main efforts of the Russian military are now focused on aiding the refugees who are returning to their homes and evacuating civilians from the war-torn country’s de-escalation zones.