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Kremlin says Syria Idlib deal going ahead despite missed deadline

Published: Updated:

The Kremlin said on Tuesday a deal to create a buffer zone in Syria’s Idlib was going ahead, despite militants missing a deadline to leave the area the day before.

“According to the information we are receiving from our military, the memorandum is being implemented and the military are satisfied with the way the Turkish side is working,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said of the Russian-Turkish deal.

Moscow supports the Syrian regime while Ankara backs the rebels in the conflict.

“Of course one cannot expect everything to go smoothly with absolutely no glitches, but the work is being carried out,” Peskov said.

The accord is a last-ditch effort to stave off a regime onslaught on Idlib, the largest rebel stronghold left in war-ravaged Syria and home to around three million people.

But the target date for the withdrawal came and went on Monday without any hardliners leaving, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

Syria’s government said it would take “time” to judge if the deal had failed, adding that it would have to wait for the reaction of Russia.