The Russian Ministry of Defense called negotiations with Turkey on Idlib held in Ankara “constructive “.
“Their results will make it possible to implement all the agreements on the Idlib de-escalation zone reached between the presidents of Russia and Turkey on March 5 in Moscow”, – the statement said.
The first joint Russian-Turkish patrol of the M-4 highway is planned for March 15, the military department added.
Aggravation in Idlib
The situation in Idlib escalated after the Hayyat Tahrir al-Sham* terrorists launched a large-scale attack on Syrian government forces on February 27, and they returned fire. According to the Russian Ministry of Defense, then the Turkish military, who should not have been there, also came under fire.
36 Turkish soldiers died, more than 30 people were injured. In response, Ankara announced the launch of a new military operation in northwestern Syria – “Spring Shield”.
In Russia, one of the main reasons for the degradation of the situation in Idlib was called by Ankara’s failure to fulfill the key obligations of the Russian-Turkish memorandum of September 17, 2018, including the fact that Turkey was unable to dissociate the armed opposition, ready for dialogue with the government, from terrorists.
On March 5, negotiations were held in Moscow between President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Following the meeting, the parties adopted a joint document in which they confirmed their commitment to the “Astana format”, announced the introduction of a ceasefire, as well as joint patrolling of the important M4 highway, which is now under the control of the militants.
* – Terrorist organization banned in Russia.Russian ambassador comments on the integration agenda of Moscow and Minsk