Syria Reaches Ceasefire With Rebel-Dominated Idlib

Deal aims to end about three months of fighting

Syrian state media has reported that they have reached a conditional ceasefire deal in the Idlib Province, a move which would end about three months of back and forth offensives between the military and al-Qaeda-dominated rebels.

The government says the ceasefire is conditioned on the rebels moving 20 kilometers back, away from the previously-established demilitarized zone. It’s not clear from early reports if the deal explicitly includes al-Qaeda, or just some of the other Islamist rebel groups.

That confusion could be a big problem, as historically leaving al-Qaeda out of such deals has allowed opponents of the government to accuse them of “violations,” since ceasefires kept with only signatory parties don’t actually end all the fighting in the country.

That’s likely where this is going as well, with the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights saying there is “no sign of a ceasefire” yet, even though it’s not clear when the deal is intended to go into effect.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.