Clashes between rebel fighters and government forces left at least one person dead and ten others wounded in Aleppo province on the evening (local time) of Wednesday, October 24. The rockets fired by the rebels reportedly came from the neighboring Idlib province. This confrontation is considered the most violent since the Russia- and Turkey-brokered Idlib agreement was implemented on September 17. Additional clashes are possible in the coming days and weeks.
Though certain jihadist groups continue to refuse to withdraw from Idlib province as of late October, Russia and Turkey have announced they remain optimistic about the implementation of a demilitarized zone in Idlib province.
In mid-September, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan agreed to create a demilitarized buffer zone between Syrian government and rebel forces, stretching from northern Latakia province to northwestern Aleppo province. The creation of the zone - planned to be supervised by both Russian and Turkish forces and in effect from October 15 - was anticipated to postpone a previously expected Russia-backed Syrian government offensive on rebel-held areas of the province. The deal stipulates that Islamist militant rebels and heavy weaponry must leave the area before the buffer zone is effectively implemented. The UN along with several other countries have warned that a full-scale offensive on Idlib province and surrounding rebel-held areas could result in a humanitarian crisis.
To date, the Syrian conflict involves many parties, including the Syrian government, the Russian government, the Iranian government, the Turkish government, a US-led coalition, and numerous armed groups on the ground (including the Islamic State) with competing goals.
Due to extremely poor security conditions, Western governments generally advise against all travel to Syria, with some banning travel to the country. Professional security advice and support should be sought prior to any travel to Syria.
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