On March 21, Syrian opposition activists shared a video of Turkish military vehicles running over a Russian flag that was placed on the M4 highway in Greater Idlib.
The flag was allegedly laid down by activists and militants, who have been protesting on several parts of the highway for more than a week. Turkish forces coordinate most of their movements on the highway with these protestors. This means they were likely aware of the flag presence.
Turkey has to guarantee the reopening of the M4 for joint patrols with Russia under the March 5 agreement. However, this is yet to happen.
The highway is still closed. Turkish forces were barely able to patrol a small strip of the M4, west of Saraqib city, in the early hours of March 21.
A day earlier, the Turkish military reopened the M4 highway. The protesters, however, re-blocked the highway within a few hours. Their provocative move was not met with any response from Turkish forces.
Turkey is making minimal efforts to reopen the M4, while boosting its military presence in Greater Idlib. This behavior indicates that Ankara is not working to implement the March 5 agreement, but preparing for a new confrontation with the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and is allies.