BEIRUT, LEBANON (8:30 P.M.) – The jihadist forces south of the M-4 Highway (Aleppo-Latakia) have yet to withdraw from the designated buffer zone in the Idlib Governorate, despite the agreement reached between the Turkish and Russian presidents last Thursday.
In particular, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) reported on Wednesday that the jihadist groups, Hay’at Tahrir Al-Sham (HTS) and the Turkestan Islamic Party (TIP), have yet to abandon their front-line positions south of the M-4 Highway.
The jihadist forces have until March 15th to withdraw from this area; however, given the lack of movement by these militants, it is highly unlikely that they will leave the buffer zone on their own accord.
The Russian military has already warned their Turkish counterparts that if the jihadist rebels do not willingly withdraw from the buffer zone, they will resume offensive operations against these militant forces.
Despite a brief furlough for their front-line troops, the Syrian Arab Army has remained on high-alert in the Idlib Governorate and most of their heavy equipment remains in the Jabal Al-Zawiya and Saraqib areas.