Russian and Turkish military delegations held an unusual meeting in the Turkish-occupied city of Azaz in northern Aleppo on March 20.
A source familiar with the situation told the pro-opposition SMART News Agency that the two sides discussed a plan to reopen a strategic highway that links the government-held city of Aleppo with the Turkish city of Gaziantep during the meeting.
Under the new plan, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) will be deployed on a strip of the highway between the towns of Herbel and Maraanaz, which are held by Kurdish forces. The Russian Military Police will reportedly oversee the deployment, if the plan was put into motion.
Russia and Turkey agreed to open several strategic highways in northern Syria last September. The deal was a part of the demilitarized zone agreement. While Turkey’s proxies in northern Aleppo are cooperating with this deal, radical militants in Idlib are actively working to sabotage it.
The reopen of Aleppo-Gaziantep highway would boost the economy in the government-held part of Syria and ease the suffering of many Syrians, who have to travel through these conflicted areas on a regular basis.