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SEPTEMBER 2020

Russia, Turkey In Talks To Establish “Security Zone” For Civilians Within Greater Idlib

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Russia and Turkey are in talks to establish a “security zone” within Syria’s Greater Idlib to allow civilians to take shelter during the winter, Turkey’s Defense Minister revealed on January 15.

“We are in talks with the Russians on establishing a secure zone, where the people can spend the winter period,” Reuters quoted Hulusi Akar as saying.

The Turkish minister claimed that most civilians in Greater Idlib don’t want to go to government-controlled areas, citing this as a reason for establishing the “security zone.”

Earlier this week, the Syrian military established three humanitarian routes around Greater Idlib in coordination with Russia. The step followed a new ceasefire agreement on the region.

Russia, Turkey In Talks To Establish “Security Zone” For Civilians Within Greater Idlib

Click to see full-size map. Source: (@Suriyakmaps) on Twitter.

So far, only a few dozen families have managed to leave Greater Idlib through the routes, due to harassment by terrorist groups there, as pro-government sources claim.

Now, the ceasefire appears to be collapsing. Terrorist groups in Greater Idlib, led by al-Qaeda-affiliated Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS), have violated the ceasefire several times. Syrian and Russian warplanes resumed their operations in the region in response.

The establishment of a “Security zone” within Greater Idlib could help secure the civilians in the region while allowing the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) to resume its military operation there with much more freedom.

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