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Russia Turkey Idlib Agreement

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Erdogan probably wanted to stop Assad`s offensive in Idlib and keep territory under his de facto control as part of a 2018 deal brokered by Russia. Russia wants to restore a balance in the region, which probably reflects the territorial gains of the Syrian army, without rotting its relations with Turkey. On August 1, 2019, after months of heavy fighting between the government and rebels, the Syrian government announced a unilateral ceasefire that depends on the rebels` compliance with the initial demilitarization conditions in 2018. [74] [74] Most rebel groups accepted the offer. [76] [77] However, shortly after the ceasefire came into force, Hayat Tahrir al-Sham stated that they would categorically refuse to leave each region under their control by that date, which was an essential requirement of the initial agreement and conditional ceasefire. [78] [79] The following day, the government announced the end of the ceasefire and the resumption of military operations, citing the refusal of rebel groups to withdraw from the area as the reason for the failure of the ceasefire. [80] [81] A considerable part of the territory of the DMZ was conquered by the Syrian army and its allies in the final phase of the offensive. At the end of August, a new ceasefire was announced, confirming the government`s successes. On the other hand, some rebel groups have declared their refusal to respect the agreement and withdraw from the remaining «demilitarized» zones, indicating that the agreement will not be revived. [82] Turkish officials and officials from Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) have been discussing since the beginning of the agreement on measures to be taken in Idlib in accordance with the guidelines of the agreement. According to some reports, the most pressing topic of the discussions is the uncertain fate of foreign fighters within the HTS, with HTS suggesting that the group disband and be part of a roof of other groups, while foreign fighters enjoy security with the group leader Abu Mohammad al-Julani, discussions have been inconclusive in this regard , but satisfactory in other respects, with many elements of the HTS hosting much of the Sochi agreement. [56] In recent years, Turkey and Russia have had to sit down several times at the negotiating table to reach agreement on opposition-held areas in northwestern Syria. However, despite these agreements, the situation in the region, particularly in the northwestern province of Idlib, has only worsened and no clear solution is in sight.

At a joint press conference after the talks, Putin said the agreement would serve as a «good basis for ending the fighting» in Idlib and «ending the suffering of the civilian population.» Ankara said Russia was not fulfilling part of the agreement that did not guarantee attacks on Idlib and the status quo on the ground. Although years of discussions on Syria have resulted in various agreements, many complaints have also been filed about violations. Russia claims that Turkey failed to «neutralize» al-Qaeda-affiliated groups among the rebels, while Turkey claims that Russia has targeted civilians. Russia had already offered Turkey control of an area within Idlib, but it was much smaller than Turkey would have liked. Some experts doubt that this agreement is different from the agreements between Ankara and Moscow on Idlib, which have not been successful. The demilitarization of Idlib was an agreement between Turkey and Russia to create a demilitarized zone (DMZ) in the Syrian rebel zone of Idlib, which was to be patrolled by Russian and Turkish forces.