Asharq Al-awsat English Middle-east and International News and Opinion from Asharq Al-awsat Newspaper

Russia Satisfied with Turkey’s Military Patrols Along Syria’s M4 Highway

Russia Satisfied with Turkey’s Military Patrols Along Syria’s M4 Highway

Saturday, 21 March, 2020 - 07:45
Turkish soldiers on the border with Syria. Reuters file photo
Moscow - Raed Jaber

Russia’s Defense Ministry on Friday unveiled some details on the Russian military patrols in areas falling outside the control of the Syrian regime, expressing satisfaction with joint patrols with Turkey along the M4 highway between Aleppo and Latakiya.

The Kremlin said that Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Syrian counterpart Bashar Assad held a phone conversation and discussed the implementation of Russian-Turkish agreements on stabilizing the situation in the Idlib area.

"The two presidents discussed the situation in Syria, including in the context of implementing the Russian-Turkish agreement on stabilizing the situation in the Idlib zone, reached on March 5, 2020," the statement said.

They also discussed the political process within the framework of the Syrian Constitutional Committee, as well as issues linked to humanitarian assistance to Syria, it added.

On March 15, the first joint Russian-Turkish military patrol took place along the M4 highway after Putin and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan held talks in Moscow and agreed that a ceasefire would be declared in Idlib.

They also agreed that Russian and Turkish troops will launch joint patrols along the M4 highway, where a security corridor will be created.

Meanwhile, Anatolij Cali, a Russian official at the Defense Ministry’s military police units announced on Friday that the first patrol on the M4 highway between Aleppo and the province of Hasakah went without any complications.

“During the patrol, Russian soldiers stopped to speak with residents in the villages and hear their demands, mainly on medical issues,” Cali said.

He added that the ground patrols included Russian Typhoon armored vehicles, as Mi-35 helicopter gunships and Mi-8 transport helicopters hovered overhead.

Aleksandar Kudrasov, an MI-8 helicopter pilot said “there were no violations or provocative actions,” confirming there were no illegal armed groups in the area.

The Russian military officials said that local residents welcomed the Russian patrols, hoping Russian troops would stay in the area.

Director of the Hmeimim Reconciliation Center affiliated to the Russian Defense Ministry, Oleg Goravlov, said that Turkey is carrying out necessary measures to create safe conditions for conducting joint patrols on the M4, aiming at implementing the Idlib agreement.

Editor Picks