Breaking: Ceasefire announced in northwest Syria – details
The Russian Ministry of Defense and Reconciliation Center has announced that a new ceasefire for northwest Syria will be put into effect on Saturday, one which the Syrian Army itself will unilaterally implement.
The nature of the ceasefire has been clarified: all military operations by the Syrian Army in the region will be halted for an indefinite period of time and insurgent attacks after its implementation will be responded to by means of armed force.
Amid announcing Syrian Army intentions, the Russian MoD has called on militants in northwest Syria to abide by the ceasefire.
The announcement comes after the Syrian Army has seized numerous long-standing militant strongholds across the region during the preceding months including Kafr Naboudah, Qalaat al-Mudiq, Khan Sheykhun, Kafr Zita, Al-Latamenah and Murak.
The official call to end Syrian military operations in northwest Syria has come rather suddenly given that the Syrian Army (the one unilaterally implementing it) has right up until now maintained an offensive posture, making key gains of the ground until just a few hours ago.
In any case, as of Saturday, the Syrian Army will halt all of its operations across the northwest Syria region.
Whether or not militant groups (in particular, the hard-line jihadist ones such as Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, Turkistan Islamic Party and Hurras al-Din) also abide by the ceasefire is yet to be seen, with certain analysts having their doubts that such factions will.
The Syrian Army will likely use the break in hostilities to reinforce its new positions along the front-line it has carved out over the last few months.