“I hope that these agreements will serve as the basis for stopping military activities in the Idlib de-escalation zone (and) will put an end to the suffering of peaceful populations and the growing humanitarian crisis,” Putin said. Ankara said Russia was not fulfilling part of the agreement that did not guarantee attacks on Idlib and the status quo on the ground. ANKARA, January 10 /TASS/. Russia and Turkey have agreed on a ceasefire in the Syrian de-escalation zone of Idlib from 12 January, as announced by the Turkish Defence Ministry on Friday. “As part of an agreement with the Russian Federation, a ceasefire will be declared on 12 January 2020 from 00:01 in the Idlib de-escalation zone,” he said. The deal was announced after about six hours of talks between Putin and Erdogan in the Russian capital. When the humanitarian situation deteriorated in Idlib, where nearly 3 million people lived before the government offensive, several other ceasefire agreements were reached, but none were successful. The March 5 agreement is likely to follow the fate of all previous Idlib agreements and will soon disintegrate. 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. Unlike the fight for Aleppo, Moscow does not need Tehran in Idlib and has discussed it.
This has angered the Iranian leadership, who will probably spoil the Russian-Turkish agreement by provoking the Turkish side. Turkey will probably react to the provocations, no doubt with russia`s agreement. At a joint press conference after the talks, Putin said the agreement would serve as a “good basis for ending the fighting” in Idlib and “ending the suffering of the civilian population.” The ceasefire came after Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan agreed last week in Moscow to end an offensive launched last year by the Syrian government to recapture Idlib province, the last major rebel stronghold in the war-torn country. In recent years, Turkey and Russia have had to sit down several times at the negotiating table to reach an agreement on opposition-held areas in northwestern Syria. However, despite these agreements, the situation in the region, particularly in the northwestern province of Idlib, has only worsened and no clear solution is in sight. First, it did not oblige the regime to abandon the territory conquered since last year and to retreat to the lines set by the Sochi agreement of September 2018 – which Turkey had repeatedly demanded.