Last month and considering the suffering of Syrian civilians in northwest Syria due to the fierce military onslaught of Assad regime and its allies, the Syrian British Council (SBC) welcomed the Turkish intervention as a serious step in protecting civilians and ending their suffering.
In light of this intervention, Syrians were waiting for a deal to be agreed between Turkey and Russia; a deal that at least would allow a safe return of displaced civilians to areas that have been controlled by Assad regime since April 2019. ‘’We have expected a deal ensures the regime's withdrawal from the de-escalation areas, the return of the displaced people to their homes, and a ceasefire that ends the bombardments of civilian infrastructure’’ SBC Managing Director, DR. Abdulkarim Ekzayez commented.
SBC perceives the declared ceasefire yesterday as a fragile and temporary situation that might not be enough to bring stability to the region. The announced agreement was rather vague and lacks the required clarifications and adequate guarantees. In an earlier statement this year, SBC noted that Astana and Sochi agreements were falling apart, and such bilateral or tripartite agreements cannot be reliable to bring stability to the region, and other international parties should be involved as guarantors and monitors.
Consequently, SBC stresses on the necessity for proceeding the international efforts to protect civilians in northwest Syria, and the necessity of working to support the Turkish presence in what could establish a de facto no-fly zone in the region. These efforts should aim to ensure a safe return of displaced civilians to their homes and to bring stability to the region, paving the way for the reactivation of the paths of a central political solution, in accordance with the Geneva understandings and relevant international resolutions.