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Turkey and Russia deploy 12th military patrol to M4 highway in Idlib

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Editing: Hazem Halak |
TranslationEditor: Glory Jabr |
Translation: Muhammad Ghaith
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Publication date: 2020/05/20 10:08

Idlib - SMART

On Wednesday, the Turkish and Russian armies deployed the 12th joint military patrol to the Latakia-Aleppo international highway (M4) in the Idlib governorate, Northern Syria.

Local activists reported to SMART that the Russian and Turkish armies deployed the patrol to the highway starting from the Syrian government-controlled areas down to areas controlled by the Free Syrian Army (FSA).

The activists added that the patrol headed from the village of al-Tronba, 7 kilometers east of Idlib, towards the village of Kafr Shalaya, which is controlled by the FSA and Islamist battalions, then returned.

Turkish Defense Ministry announced that Turkey deployed the 12th joint military patrol with Russia. The ministry added that six military vehicles of both armies participated in the patrol with Russian warplanes and drones.

On May 12 and 14, 2020, protesters intercepted the tenth and 11th joint military patrols and pelted vehicles with eggs and stones as they passed near the city of Ariha. 

On April 13, 2020, Turkish forces fired tear gas to disperse protesters, who intercepted a Turkish patrol near the town of al-Nayrab, eastern Idlib, Northern Syria. About 300 Turkish soldiers removed the protesters' tents and expelled them at the al-Karama 2 post (800 meters east of al-Nayrab), so the protesters threw stones at the soldiers who fired tear gas to disperse them.

Earlier, residents in the town of al-Nayrab held a sit-in to refuse Russian-Turkish patrols on the international highway (M4), after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin reached a ceasefire agreement in the Idlib governorate on March 5, 2020. The agreement entered into force at 00:01 on March 6, 2020.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said that the Russian and Turkish forces will deploy joint patrols along the M4 international highway between the villages of al-Tronba and Ain al-Hawr, east of Idlib, starting from March 15, 2020.

On March 10, 2020, Cavusoglu said that Turkey's military will patrol to the north of the M4 highway in the Idlib governorate, and Russian forces will patrol the southern side.

Before the ceasefire agreement, the Syrian government forces and loyalist militias, supported by Russia, were launching a ground military attack on the southern and eastern countryside of Idlib and the southern and western countryside of Aleppo. The Syrian government gained control of dozens of villages and towns in the region, after intense shelling. The shelling killed and injured hundreds of civilians, and displaced hundreds of thousands of others.