The so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) says Turkey has dispatched a new military convoy to Syria’s embattled northwestern province of Idlib, a day ahead of the first joint patrol by Turkish and Russian troops on the strategic M4 highway and establishment of joint coordination centers in the region.
Turkish and Russian officials have agreed on the details of a cease-fire in northwest Syria’s Idlib region and joint patrols along the key M4 highway will begin on Sunday, Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said on Friday.
Turkey’s president says he has proposed to his Russian counterpart that the two countries jointly operate the eastern Syrian oilfields, adding he could make the same offer to the United States, which is already implicated in stealing the Syrian crude.
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has described the chances of normal diplomatic relations with neighboring Turkey as remote, stressing that such an ideal cannot be achieved as long as President Recep Tayyip Erdogan supports Takfiri militant groups and is under the heavy influence of Egypt’s so-called Muslim Brotherhood movement.
As tensions are escalating in Syria’s northwestern province of Idlib, the last militant bastion in a nine-year war, Turkey is attempting to hold its grip over the flashpoint region through tens of thousands of militants it supports.
Greek security forces used tear gas and water cannon on Wednesday against hundreds of migrants trying to cross the border from Turkey, as Athens and Ankara accused each other of lying about what was happening.
Russia says the allegations by Turkey, the United States, and some European countries that a humanitarian crisis has been caused in northwestern Syria as a result of Syrian and Russian military operations to retake territory from dangerous armed militants there are incorrect.
The EU dispatched its highest officials to Turkey and Greece on Tuesday amid concern over a fresh migrant crisis and allegations that Ankara was trying to "blackmail" the bloc by opening its borders to thousands of refugees seeking to flee to Europe.