By Moon Of Alabama
Erdogan wants Idleb but neither Syria nor Iran nor Russia will let him have it. President Putin will meet Erdogan during the coming days and will make sure that the point is understood.
President Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey and President Vladimir Putin of Russia met today in Moscow. They had a 160 minute long talk under 4 eyes and another round with their relevant staff. The parties agreed on a new ceasefire in Idleb governorate.
Idleb governorate Mar 5 2020
The so far published agreed points are:
1- Cease all military actions along the line of contact in the Idlib de-escalation area starting 00:01 on March 6, 2020
2- A security corridor will be established 6 km deep to the north and the south from highway M4, Specific parameters of the functioning of the security corridor will be agreed between the Defense Ministries of the Turkish Republic and the Russian Federation within 7 days.
3- On March 15, 2020 joint Turkish-Russian patrolling will begin along highway M4 from the settlement oo Trumba (2 km to the west of Saraqib) to the settlement of Ain-Al-Hayr.
The aim of the current Syrian army operation is thereby largely fulfilled. The M4 and the M5 highways will be free of Jihadis and open to traffic.(I believe that Ain-Al-Hayr is also transliterated as Ain al Hawr which is on the very western end of the M4 segment that is still under Jihadi control).
This ceasefire is unlikely to hold over a longer period. But it brings a useful pause for the Syrian army that will allow it to recover a bit and to take care of its men and equipment.
This for now also ends the Turkish thread to attack the Syrian army and to reconquer all areas it had liberated over the last months.
Erdogan, who had made many demands, saw none of them fulfilled. The agreement will cost him political points within his party.