Russia-Turkey patrols in northern Syria to restart when situation stabilises - Lavrov | Eurasia Diary -

22 October, Thursday

Russia-Turkey patrols in northern Syria to restart when situation stabilises - Lavrov

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Russia and Turkey will resume joint patrols in northern Syrian as soon as the situation in the area stabilises, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told Al-Arabiya in a televised interview broadcast on Monday, Ahval news reports. 

Lavrov said Islamist militias in Idlib were violating a ceasefire agreement brokered in March.

"We only have to attack terrorists’ positions and exterminate their only nest in Syria. In line with the memorandum, our Turkish colleagues bear the bulk of responsibility for that,” Lavrov said. 

 “Combating terrorism is the number one task. I can assure you that joint patrolling of the M4 highway will soon be continued, as soon as the situation calms down" he added.

 Joint Turkish-Russian patrols along the M4 highway, a strategically vital route which connects Latakia and Saraqib, were suspended due to the threat of attacks by Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) on Syrian government army positions and attempts to target the Russian Hmeimim airbase, according to Lavrov.

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan brokered a ceasefire agreement on March 5 to end the fighting in Idlib between Turkish-allied armed groups and the Syrian military.

The deal required the establishment of a security corridor stretching around 6 kilometres north and south of the M4 highway. As part of the agreement, Turkish and Russian military units have conducted joint patrols along the road to act as a buffer between pro-Damascus forces and rebel and Islamist militias.


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