Turkey, Russia flesh out Syria ceasefire deal: Ankara

Author : Mircea Birca | Tuesday, March 17, 2020
Posted in category Eurasia, Turkey
Comments Off on Turkey, Russia flesh out Syria ceasefire deal: Ankara

Turkey and Russia have agreed to begin joint patrols along a key highway in Syria’s northwestern province of Idlib as part of a recent ceasefire agreement between the two sides, Turkey’s defense minister says.

“Both sides have signed the prepared text, and it has entered into force. We will see the first application of this with joint patrols on March 15 along the M4 highway,” Turkey’s state-run Anadolu news agency quoted Hulusi Akar as saying on Friday.

His remarks came after four days of talks between Russian and Turkish officials in Ankara aimed at working out the details of a ceasefire agreed between Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, in Moscow earlier this month.

“Joint coordination centers will be set up with Russia where the activities will be managed together,” Akar added.

On March 5, Russia and Turkey, which support opposite sides in the Syrian conflict, came to an agreement on a ceasefire regime in Idlib, where Turkish aggression against the Syrian government had risked starting a war.

According to the agreement, joint Russian-Turkish patrols will secure a six-kilometer-wide corridor along the M4 highway connecting the two government-held provinces of Latakia and Aleppo.

The ceasefire also consolidates Syrian control over the M5 highway, which links the capital, Damascus, to the major cities of Hama, Homs, and Aleppo.

The ceasefire came a few months after the Syrian army launched an anti-terror operation against foreign-sponsored militants in Idlib when they failed to honor an earlier de-escalation agreement between Ankara and Moscow.

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