Violations reported on third day of Syria’s Idlib cease-fire

Violations were reported on Sunday in the de-escalation zone in northwestern Syria with shelling between the rebels and the government forces, a war monitor reported.

The rebels fired several shells on government areas in the town northwestern province of Latakia two times on Sunday, said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

For its side, the government forces fired shells on rebel-held areas in the northern countryside of Hama province and the southern countryside of Idlib province in northwestern Syria, according to the Observatory.

On Thursday night, a fresh cease-fire went into force to revive the de-escalation zones’ deal that had been supervised by Russia and Turkey last year.

The Observatory reported violations on the first day of the cease-fire.

The state news agency accused the rebels of violating the cease-fire in the de-escalation zone, which includes areas in Idlib province as well as the countryside areas of Hama and Latakia provinces.

Since the rebel groups are large in number, the ultra-radical ones such as the al-Qaida-linked Nusra Front is said to have rejected the cease-fire, which explains the shelling.

Idlib, as well as surrounding countryside areas of Latakia and Hama, are included in the de-escalation zones’ deal supervised by Russia and Turkey in September of last year.

The deal included cease-fire and withdrawal of ultra-radical rebel groups from certain areas around Idlib.

However, the deal didn’t materialize and battles have renewed since April.

On Thursday evening, the Syrian army said a new cease-fire would go into force as of Thursday evening.

The army stipulated the withdrawal of the rebels 20 km in depth of Idlib for the cease-fire to take place.

The conditional cease-fire is the result of the 13th round of Syrian talks in the Nur-Sultan, capital of Kazakhstan, previously known as Astana.

According to the final statement released Friday after the two-day talks in Nur-Sultan, the parties agreed to implement the Sochi agreement reached last September in the Russian resort city of Sochi, which calls for the retreat of the rebels 20 km in depth of Idlib.

The rebels were also required to withdraw their heavy weapons from the front lines.