Moscow Asks Turkey to Open Border Crossings

Russia has submitted a proposal to Turkey, which includes opening three crossings in Idleb and Aleppo between regime-controlled and opposition-held areas, according to what was announced by the Deputy Director of the Russian Reconciliation Center in Hmeimim, affiliated with the Russian Defense Ministry, Alexander Karpov.

According to a statement issued by Karpov on Tuesday and published by the Russian TASS news agency, “the proposal includes resuming the work in the Saraqib and Miznaz corridors in the Idleb area, to de-escalate the escalation, as well as the Abu Zaidin corridor in the area of ​​the city of Aleppo.”

“The proposal includes launching two humanitarian truck delivery operations and the exit of displaced people through the corridors, as of March 25,” said Karpov.

The Russian official considered that the proposal comes “against the backdrop of the difficult humanitarian situation in the territories under the control of the Turkish forces inside the Syrian Arab Republic.”

Russia has been promoting, every now and then, the opening of humanitarian crossings in Idleb, but what is new recently is that Moscow has begun to take advantage of the economic deterioration and the poor medical sector in the northwestern regions of Syria, which are beyond the control of the regime.

Russia had announced, mid-last month, the opening of the Tarnaba-Saraqib crossing in the Idleb countryside, for civilians “wishing” to leave the northwestern regions of Syria.

However, and after the crossing had been open for several days, no civilians went out towards the areas under the control of the regime. Moscow claimed that one of the military factions controlling the area prevented civilians from leaving.

This came only days after a Russian escalation in northern Syria, affecting mostly the border areas with Turkey, as Russian warplanes bombed the Bab al-Hawa border crossing with Turkey, in addition to targeting the city of Sarmada, the commercial capital of Idleb.

The Turkish Ministry of Defense called on Russia to curb the military escalation “immediately” and to stop the regime forces’ bombing of Idleb. The Turkish Foreign Ministry summoned the Russian ambassador in Ankara in light of the escalation in recent days.

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