0935 GMT February 18, 2020
The Syrian Army said on Monday it was resuming military operations in a Russian-led campaign in northwest Syria, blaming Turkey for not abiding by its commitments under a truce deal, Reuters reported.
Syrian state media said on Thursday the cease-fire would depend on armed groups complying with a Russian-Turkish deal last year aimed at creating an Idlib de-escalation zone.
“The agreement to a truce was conditional. This did not happen. We resume our military operations against terrorist organizations,” said the army statement.
Since Damascus declared a cease-fire on Thursday night, its warplanes have not mounted airstrikes.
“Even though the Syrian Arab Army declared a cease-fire in the de-escalation zone of Idlib on August 1, armed terrorist groups refused to abide by the cease-fire and launched many attacks on civilians in surrounding areas,” Syria’s official news agency SANA cited a statement released by the General Command of the Army and Armed Forces on Monday, Press TV reported.
It also noted, “Despite the Syrian Army’s agreement to conditional truce in Idlib and efforts exerted in this regard, Ankara has failed to fulfill its obligations. The Syrian Arab Army will, therefore, resume its combat operations against terrorist groups regardless of their nomenclature and it will retaliate in accordance with its constitutional duty of protecting the Syrian people.”
Under its deals with Moscow, Ankara has forces stationed on the ground in the Idlib region at a dozen military positions.
The Turkish Foreign Ministry declined immediate comment.
The Syrian military’s statement came a day after Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Ankara would launch a military operation in a Kurdish-controlled area in northern Syria, Press TV wrote.