Turkey Syria Agreement

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. Moscow, for its part, said Turkey was violating the agreement by supporting „illegal armed groups“ and accused Turkish forces of mingling with „terrorists“ in Idlib. The main objective of the agreement was to restore bilateral relations between Syria and Turkey, although the Turkish delegation insisted that full normalization should not be achieved until Syria met the requirements, including the cessation of what Turkey considered to be an „incitement to other Arab League member nations against Turkey“ , as well as cooperation in the arrest of Ocalan. These requirements were attached to the text of the agreement. [4] The latest Turkish-Russian agreement reached on 5 March in Moscow by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin will be no exception. Although the agreement succeeded in ending the fighting and giving respite to the three million Syrians living in the province, most of them were driven out several times, it did not find a stable solution that would prevent a new military offensive by the Syrian regime and its allies on the last stronghold of the Turkish-backed Syrian opposition. „The solution in Idlib is for the (Syrian) regime to stop its hostility and withdraw to the borders in the agreements. Otherwise, we will do so by the end of February,“ Erdogan said. Meanwhile, the Syrian government said it no longer felt bound by the agreement, but remained „willing“ to return to the agreement if Turkey were to stop supporting the Free Syrian Army and other Turkish-backed armed rebel groups in Syria and withdraw its troops from Turkish-occupied northern Syrian territories. [10] [12] First, it did not force the regime to abandon the territory it had conquered since last year and to retreat to the lines set by the Sochi agreement of September 2018 – something Turkey had repeatedly demanded. Instead, it has legitimized the new „reality“ on the ground – that is, the territorial gains that Syrian regime forces and allied militias have been able to achieve since December.

The deal was announced after about six hours of talks between Putin and Erdogan in the Russian capital. At the start of the more than six-hour Kremlin talks, the two heads of state and government stressed the need for an agreement. One of the objectives was to prevent their bilateral relations and prosperous trade from harming. Ankara said Russia was not fulfilling part of the agreement that did not guarantee attacks on Idlib and the status quo on the ground. 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. The foreign ministers of Russia and Turkey said Thursday`s agreement would include the implementation of a ceasefire from midnight along existing battle lines.