In Moscow, Russian and Turkish leaders held a press conference after coming to an agreement to de-escalate the situation in Idlib. The decision have come after hours of negotiation between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Moscow. Both leaders agreed on a ceasefire in Idlib starting from 6 March 2020 midnight. According to the reached agreement, a six-kilometer-wide security corridor will be established in the area. They have also agreed that Russian and Turkish troops will conduct joint patrol mission along the M-4 highway in Idlib.
On the other side, Russian state-run media Sputnik reported citing Erdogan that Turkey hasn’t received any US military equipment though the US might sent some weapons if the latest ceasefire between Russia and Turkey couldn’t be reached. Erdogan also added that Turkey made request for the US made Patriot air defense system. Although in November last year, Turkey tested its Russia-made S-400 air defense system in a move to diversify its arsenal and informed that the system will be activated on schedule in April 2020.
In its report, Sputnik also narrated Erdogan’s praise for the ceasefire deal that is supposed to curb down battle and violence in Idlib, Syria. Erdogan said that this deal will not only protect Turkey’s borders, but also protect local troops and civilians. Erdogan considers that the deal over Idlib can play an important role to normalize the situation in Idlib.
Besides, Syrian government believes that, against Turkey, it is fighting for Syria’s independence, sovereignty, territorial integrity as well as combating ‘Turkey-backed terrorism’ in the country. The war in Syria started in 2011 with an uprising to topple Syrian president Bashar Al Assad and many believe that it was backed by several regional and extra-regional countries led by the US. On 23 April 2016, the United Nations and Arab League Envoy to Syria put out an estimate of 400,000 that had died in the war. Also, millions of people have been displaced and taken shelter in Turkey as a transit country on their journey to Europe.