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Russia and Turkey, as expected, reached a truce agreement for north west Syria. It provides for the stop to the Spring Shield maneuvers in Idlib, commitment for humanitarian aid and joint patrols in the buffer zone, along the M4
Russia and Turkey, as expected, have reached a truce agreement for north west Syria. Therefore, Ankara’s dream of expelling the army of Damascus (SAA) from Idlib ends. During the meeting in Moscow, Presidents Vladimir Putin and Recep Tayyip Erdogan agreed that the stopping of the Spring Shield operation against the SAA had started at midnight on Thursday. The two countries will also work together to provide aid to the population of the Middle Eastern country and joint patrols will be established (starting from March 15 from Trumba to Ain al-Havr) along the buffer zone on the border. This will pass through the M4 highway (six kilometers north and south), which cuts Idlib from the east to reach Latakia. The details, however, will be defined in the coming days following meetings between the respective Defense ministers.
Erdogan had no choice: he had to bow to Putin
The outcome of the Putin-Erdogan meeting was expected. The Turkish president knew that he would have to yield to the demands of his main partner, Russia. In fact, Moscow immediately called the Spring Shield an error and took sides in defense of Damascus and the SAA, not hesitating to target the allied militias of Ankara and the soldiers of the TAF themselves. The raid was charged in Damascus, also by the president of the Federation, but it happened at night and Bashar Assad’s fighters have no operational capacity after sunset. Erdogan, therefore, had no alternative to the truce, also because the alternative would have been to necessarily approach NATO and therefore have to follow its rules. Russia, moreover, has other “weapons” to play against Turkey. First of all in Libya, where there are Ankara troops, allies of the GNA. These, if desired, are an easy target and would have no response capability.
Meanwhile, pro-Ankara militias are still trying to attack Saraqeb. But the response of the Moscow fighters is immediate. In addition, the SAA still attacks the rebels between Hama and Idlib. Objective: to crush them on the border with Turkey
Meanwhile, pro-Turkey militias continue to attempt to attack the Syrian army in Saraqeb. The city, strategic as it is the gateway to Idlib and Aleppo, was again targeted by some rockets. This is despite the fact that in the past few hours the Russian Military Police (MP), who had temporarily moved south to provide support to the SAA, has returned. Not surprisingly, shortly after the attack, Moscow’s fighters bombed enemy positions in Sarmin and the surrounding area. In addition, the raids and attacks of the Damascus artillery between Hama and Idlib continue. The latest targets were Al-Zyara, Qastoun, Al-Sarmaniya, Tel Wasit, Al-Anqawi, Al-Dagmak and Al-Mashik. The goal is to push the rebels into the latter province, cutting every escape route to the east to try to crush and close them towards the border with the neighboring country.
Photo Credits: Russian Presidency