Cease-Fire Pact Remains in Effect in Syria's Idlib
By VOA News March 08, 2020
The cease-fire deal in Syria's northwestern province of Idlib remains in effect Sunday.
The pact is between Turkey, which backs some rebel groups, and Russia, which backs the forces of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Turkey and Russia have reached multiple cease-fire agreements previously in Idlib, but none had been successful.
The fighting in the region since late last year has triggered a massive humanitarian crisis with almost a million people fleeing their homes.
Some of the area's residents have returned since the cease-fire began last week, only to discover that their homes have been destroyed.
Majd Sammoud, a villager from Sarmin, told the Associated Press his home had been "completely flattened to the ground" and he was not able to retrieve any of his family's belongings.
Turkey and Russia have also agreed to secure a key highway in the Idlib area with joint patrols, beginning this week.
The announcement came just days after Turkey said it would open its borders, allowing refugees access to Western Europe. Since then, migrants have massed at the Turkish-Greek border, leading to clashes with Greek police.
Turkey hosts more than 3.5 million refugees from Syria.
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