News ID: 266867
Published: 1228 GMT March 13, 2020

Turkey says agreed with Russia on details of Idlib cease-fire

Turkey says agreed with Russia on details of Idlib cease-fire

Turkish and Russian officials have agreed on the details of a cease-fire in northwest Syria’s Idlib region and joint patrols along the key M4 highway will begin on Sunday, Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said on Friday.

State-owned Anadolu Agency quoted Akar as saying there were signs that migration in the region had stopped and returns had begun.

He said Turkey and Russia will establish joint coordination centers to monitor implementation of the agreement after the conclusion of talks with Russian officials in Ankara, Reuters reported.

A Turkish security official also said on Friday Turkish observation posts in the Idlib region will remain in place and function despite being encircled by Syrian government forces. 

Turkey and Russia, which back opposing sides in Syria’s war, agreed on March 5 to halt military activity in the northwestern Idlib region after an escalation of violence that displaced nearly a million people and brought the two sides close to confrontation.

The deal addresses Turkey’s main concerns – stopping a flow of migrants and preventing the death of more Turkish soldiers – but also cements recent gains by Syrian government forces and leaves Turkish posts encircled.

Around 60 Turkish soldiers who were deployed to the region were killed in clashes in the region since last month, but the cease-fire has largely held since March 5.



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