According to the office of UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura, Russia, Turkey, and Iran failed to make any tangible progress in setting up the constitutional committee in the latest round of the Astana Talks in Kazakhstan.
On Wednesday, representatives of Iran, Russia, and Turkey met in Astana to discuss the crumbling Idlib truce after clashes erupted between government and rebel forces. The Kazakh hosts made no mention of the formation of the drafting committee for the Syrian constitution at the two-day talks.
Despite sporadic fighting, a crossing between forces of the Syrian regime and its opposition has reopened in Morek, near Idlib. Civilians have been allowed to use the crossing for the first time in three months.
In the last rebel-held province of Idlib, the extremist group, Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS), have taken advantage of the withdrawal of many National Liberation Front (NLF) affiliated groups to establish itself within the Demilitirisation Zone (DMZ).
Clashes between the rebel groups, HTS and NLF, renewed in the Aleppo countryside. The clashes, which allegedly started after the HTS attempted to open a base in the NLF-held Kafr Hamra, have since spread to other areas.
‘No heavy weapons were seen in the Syria buffer zone,’ said Rami Abdel Rahman, head of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.Despite the relatively speedy implementation of the accord’s first deadline, observers say a thornier task lies ahead.
Turkish-backed faction Faylaq al-Sham al-Islami has begun pulling out of areas in Aleppo province after Moscow and Ankara agreed a deal to avert a full-scale regime offensive in nearby Idlib. The deal also included the setting up of a large demilitarised zone in northern Syria.
Nearly 3 million civilians living in the last rebel-held province, Idlib, cautiously welcome the creation of a 'demilitarised' zone after Russia and Turkey's deal. However, the residents express concern over Assad's commitment.
Announcement of an agreement between Russia and Turkey to create a demilitarised buffer zone in the last rebel-held province of Idlib has prompted thousands of displaced Syrians to head back to their homes.