Almost 1,000 civilians leave Idlib De-escalation zone on Monday - Russian Military
Moscow/Sputnik/UNI: A total of 983 civilians left terrorist-controlled territory in the northwestern Syrian province of Idlib on Monday through two newly-established humanitarian corridors, Maj. Gen. Yuri Borenkov, the commander of the Russian center for Syrian reconciliation, reported.
Russia and Turkey previously agreed to introduce a ceasefire in the province, starting at 00:00 local time (22:00 GMT) on January 12. Three corridors through which civilians could leave Idlib de-escalation zone started to operate earlier in the day, namely Al-Hadher in the southern Aleppo province, Al-Dhuhur in the eastern Idlib and Hobait in Hama province. All humanitarian corridors were established by the Syrian Armed Forces.
"In total, over the past day, 464 people and 26 vehicles left through the Al-Hadher checkpoint in Aleppo province, while 519 people and 33 vehicles left through the Hobait checkpoint in Hama Province,” Borenkov said at a daily briefing.
The general added that no civilians left Idlib zone via Al-Dhuhur corridor.
"The town of Hobait was liberated from terrorists four months ago. Every essential thing here is ready for people to come back, houses are repaired. The social infrastructure is still being recovered, we need schools, bakeries and electricity. We expect some 50,000 people to return via this checkpoint," Fadiz Adoun, the acting governor of Idlib province, told journalists.
All three checkpoints have areas where people can get medical assistance, as well as drinking water, hot food and essential items. Transportation has also been arranged to take people to other safe areas .
In May 2017, the so-called Astana-format talks in Kazakhstan among parties to the Syrian conflict under mediation of Russia, Iran and Turkey resulted in an agreement to create four de-escalation zones in Syria. Three of them went under Damascus' control in 2018, while the fourth one, Idlib, is still controlled by terrorists.
The Syrian army launched a military operation in Idlib in late December and urged local civilians to leave the terrorist-held areas.