In the noon of March 8, the Turkish military began patrolling the demilitarized zone around Syria’s Idlib as a part of the Russian-Turkish agreement, which was reached last September, according to the Anadolu Agency.
Syrian opposition sources confirmed that six armored vehicles of the Turkish military conducted a patrol within the demilitarized zone and released videos showing the development.
Few hours earlier, Turkey’s Defense Minister Hulusi Akar announced that Turkey and Russia will begin patrols in and around Idlib in order to stabilized the situation there.
“Today, Russia will begin patrols in the border area outside of Idlib while Turkish Armed Forces patrols will start in the demilitarized zone,” Akar told Anadolu Agency.
The Turkish minister also accused the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) of violating the demilitarized zone agreement and said that Ankara has contacted Moscow and Tehran to stop these violations.
Last month, several opposition news outlets revealed Turkey’s plan to patrol the demilitarized zone. According to these outlets, Turkey will soon take more steps to expand its influence inside the zone.
Turkish patrols will not likely stop daily violations of the ceasefire regime by militants. In fact, militants launched several rockets on the town of Mahardah in northern Hama right after Akar’s announcement.
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