On July 22, the Russian Military Police and the Turkish military completed their first ever full joint patrol on the M4 highway in the northwestern Syrian region of Greater Idlib.
The joint patrol set off from the government-held town of Tronba in southern Idlib. The patrol passed through the entire opposition-held section of the M4. In the end, Russian forces reached the government-held town of Ain Hawr in northern Lattakia, while Turkish forces headed back to Greater Idlib.
Türkiye-Rusya Federasyonu Mutabakatı çerçevesinde; İdlib’teki M4 Karayolunda belirlenen Trumbah-Ayn Al Havr güzergâhının tamamında, kara ve hava unsurlarının katılımıyla 22’nci Türk-Rus Birleşik Kara Devriyesi icra edilmiştir.#MSB #TSK pic.twitter.com/nHWY969etW
— T.C. Millî Savunma Bakanlığı (@tcsavunma) July 22, 2020
This was the 22nd joint Russian-Turkish patrol on the M4 and the first to pass through the entire opposition-held section of the M4 highway. The patrol didn’t encounter any problem.
Turkey committed to secure the M4 under the agreement with Russia signed on March 5. The highway links the port city of Lattakia with Aleppo city, Syria’s industrial hub.
A suicide bombing targeted the 21th patrol more than a week ago. Three Russian service members were injured in the attack. Russian and Syrian forces responded with a series of airstrikes and intense shelling.
By securing the M4 highway, Turkey has fulfilled a part of its commitments. Under the agreement with Russia, Ankara is also obliged to neutralize the remaining terrorist groups in Greater Idlib, including Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham. Turkish forces are yet to take any action to achieve this goal.