“To then calm the people of Idlib, this agreement must be built by the world powers working together to find a lasting political solution that protects the civilian population,” Bramwell said. “It is also important that humanitarian organizations can reach those who remain in need throughout Idlib, including in all demilitarized zones. The Islamic Party of Turkistan, Guardians of Religion Organization, Ansar al-Tawhid, Ansar al-Din Front and Ansar al-Islam rejected the agreement and jeopardized the agreement, while Tahrir al-Sham made an ambiguous statement on the agreement.  The agreement was announced after about six hours of talks between Putin and Erdogan in the Russian capital. Nearly a year after the creation of the de-escalation zone in Idlib, Hei`at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS), the latest iteration of former Syrian Al Qaeda operative Jabhat al-Nusra, remains the strongest armed faction in Idlib. In addition to mixed non-jihadist Islamist and nationalist groups, other smaller jihadist groups operate in the region. The government-run al-Watan newspaper also reported that the agreement would end with the return of government institutions to Idlib after rebel groups withdrew from residential areas.  In 2018, Russia and Turkey agreed on a ceasefire and de-escalation zones in Idlib, but this agreement has often been violated. On 5 March 2020, Russia and Turkey concluded a new ceasefire agreement comprising joint Russian and Turkish patrols of a 12-kilometre corridor along the M4 motorway through Idlib to Latakia.   President Putin said he hoped the agreement “will serve as a basis for ending fighting in the Idlib de-escalation zone and ending the suffering of the civilian population.” None of these three zones was followed by a detachment of foreign observers in Operation Tripwire and there were no state guarantors as invested in Idlib as Turkey.
For Ankara, the area is a matter of national security. Turkey fears a new wave of potential refugees who are invading their borders and causing a humanitarian crisis on its doorstep or, if Turkey lets them in, increasing their already massive burden on refugees. [fn] According to the Demographic Data of the Humanitarian Access team of June 2018, 2,936,672 people live in the area which includes the Idlib de-escalation zone, including the opposition-held areas of Idlib governorate, the neighbouring governorates of Lattakia and Hama, and the District of Aleppo Jabal Samaan. Of this population, 1,285,396 are internally displaced persons.