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Russian-backed Turkish Plan to Prevent Regime's Intervention in Idlib

Russian-backed Turkish Plan to Prevent Regime's Intervention in Idlib

Sunday, 22 July, 2018 - 09:15
Members of Turkey-backed Free Syrian Army police forces secure the road as they escort a convoy near Azaz, Syria January 26, 2018. REUTERS/Umit Bektas

Turkey announced that the border with Syria will be a “security zone” for 15 days. It also said it decided to increase the militarily and security patrols along the border until August 3.

A statement by Gaziantep, south Turkey, attributed the new procedure to the fact that the Turkish Army had dispatched military reinforcements to the existing forces in Syria and had enhanced the protection of the border.

The Turkish announcement coincided with the escalation of worrisome towards possibilities of the de-escalation zone being subject to attacks by the Syrian regime and its allies, like other regions in Ghouta, Homs and the south-west.

Ankara confirmed that it doesn’t wish for this to happen, and warned from its impact on Astana discussions in case such violations take place.

The Turkish army held 15 checking points in Idlib and Hama within an agreement that was signed in September last year with Russia and Iran in Astana. These points are in charge of ceasing fire between the regime and the Iranian-affiliated militias from one side and the fighting factions from another side.

The closest checkpoint is 500 meters away from the Turkish border, and the most far is in Tall Sawwanah and is 88 kilometers away from the Turkish border.

In the same context, press reports revealed that Turkey has submitted a white card to Russia regarding the final solution in the fourth de-escalation zone that consists of villages extending between Lattakia, Hama, Aleppo and the majority of Idlib countryside and Idlib city.

According to these reports, Turkey submitted to Russia a card of several clauses and called it, the 'white card' for the solution in Idlib. It coincided with implementing clauses of Kefraya and Al-Fu'ah that led to lifting the siege that lasted for years.

Turkey called on all the factions and authorities in the north of Syria to take part in a general conference to be held during two weeks to discuss the future of Idlib in light of the latest developments in the south of Syria, in Kefraya and Al-Fu'ah.

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