Russia and Turkey are currently working to establish a joint coordination center inside the de-militarized zone around the northern Syrian governorate of Idlib, according to Turkey’s Defense Minister Hulusi Akar.
“Turkey and Russia are working to create a joint center to coordinate activities in Idlib. Our work continues,” the Turkish Anadolu News Agency quoted Akar as saying on March 14.
Akar also revealed that Russia and Turkey signed a new agreement on Idlib on March 3-4. The defense minster said that the agreement “clarifies the joint work” between the two countries. However, he declined to provide addition information about it.
Last week, the Turkish military began to patrol the demilitarized zone in an attempt to reinforce the agreement with Russia. Despite this, radical militants continued to violate the agreement. Several civilians in northern Hama and western Aleppo were killed as a result of these violations.
The militants didn’t stop there. According to the Ministry of Defense of Russia, Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) was planning to resume its drone attacks on the Hmeimim airbase. However, a wave of Russian airstrikes on March 13 foiled the terrorist plan. The Russian MoD confirmed that the airstrikes were coordinated with Turkey.
The recent escalation around Idlib reflected Turkey’s failure to implement the demilitarized zone agreement. However, it also showed the importance of the Russian-Turkish coordination and how it can minimize civilian loses and terrorists threats in the same time.
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