Russia Turkey Ceasefire Agreement
The foreign ministers of Russia and Turkey said Thursday`s agreement would include the implementation of a ceasefire from midnight along existing battle lines. The agreement also provides for the establishment of a 12-kilometre security corridor along the M4 motorway, which will be jointly patrolled by Russian and Turkish troops from 15 March. MOSCOW (AP) – The russian and Turkish presidents have agreed on a ceasefire that is due to begin at midnight Thursday in northwestern Syria, where escalating fighting threatened to bring troops from both countries into a direct conflict. After more than six hours of talks in Moscow, Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan agreed on the ceasefire agreement on Friday from midnight. Erdogan probably wanted to stop Assad`s offensive in Idlib and keep territory under his de facto control as part of a 2018 deal brokered by Russia. Russia wants to restore a balance in the region, which probably reflects the territorial gains of the Syrian army, without rotting its relations with Turkey. The agreement would effectively preserve some of the territorial gains made by Russian-backed Syrian forces during a three-month offensive in Idlib, the country`s last rebel stronghold, while keeping a Turkish foothold in the region. “There are no violations (of the ceasefire) against observation posts” that “must put an end to the bloodshed and humanitarian tragedy,” the official said at a briefing in Ankara. According to the Ministry of Defence, two other Turkish soldiers were killed by Syrian regime fire in Idlib hours before the ceasefire came into force. The agreement appears to be meeting Russia`s main objective: to allow the Syrian government to control strategic highways essential to consolidating its influence over the country after nine years of devastating war. Despite the agreed ceasefire, Turkey reserves “the right to return the favor to any attack” by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad`s troops, Erdogan has warned. Turkey and Russia have agreed on a ceasefire in the northwestern Syrian province of Idlib from midnight local time to avoid a major escalation.
MOSCOW (Reuters) – Turkey and Russia agreed on Thursday on a ceasefire in the Syrian region of Idlib, their two leaders said after talks in Moscow to stem a conflict that has displaced nearly a million people in three months. In a speech to the Kremlin, Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced that the ceasefire would begin at midnight on Thursday evening and that it was hoped that it would ease tensions in the region. At a joint press conference after the talks, Putin said the agreement would serve as a “good basis for ending the fighting” in Idlib and “ending the suffering of the civilian population.” In 2018, Russia and Turkey agreed on a ceasefire and de-escalation zones in Idlib, but that agreement has often been violated. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Wednesday that Turkey would not back down from an even stronger military intervention in Idlib if the ceasefire was broken. According to an AFP diplomatic source, Russia requested a closed meeting of the UN Security Council on Friday to inform members of the agreement. Russian President Vladimir Putin, who is standing alongside his Turkish counterpart Tayyip Erdogan, said he hoped their deal would lead to a halt to military action in Syria`s last major rebel stronghold in the northwest of the country.