Ceasefire in Syria’s Idlib Holding, Russia Warns US Strike a Threat

Russia, Syria suspend warplane flights in contested area

A week of major military gains by Syria in the northern Idlib Province gave way to a ceasefire on Saturday. But for the US airstrike in the area on Saturday, the ceasefire has continued to hold, with a rare period of calm for locals on both sides.

Indeed, the US airstrike was in the area near Maarat al-Numaan, on the edge of Idlib, meaning that for much of al-Qaeda-controlled territory, there were no warplanes flying overhead at all this weekend, a real rarity.

Russia was supportive of the ceasefire but criticized the US strike, saying it violated a previous agreement on safe zones and threatened the newly minted ceasefire. The US isn’t a party to the ceasefire, but had agreed on the safe zones.

Not that Russia is likely bothered by US strikes killing al-Qaeda figures. Rather, the US spent the past few weeks of Russian and Syrian operations against the exact same al-Qaeda forces criticizing them for violating human rights, and Russia probably felt obligated to echo that sentiment in their own statement.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.