Briefing on the Turkey-Russia agreement on Idlib


27 September 2018

Compromise over Idlib points towards continued Turkey-Russia cooperation in Syria

  • Turkish lobbying has postponed a Russian-backed assault on the Syrian opposition’s last stronghold in Idlib
  • The agreement runs against Russia’s commitment to bring all Syrian territory back under the Assad regime’s control but places potentially tough conditions on Turkey’s relationship with local armed groups
  • Russian acquiescence comes as the US signals its willingness to back a long-term Kurdish political project in Syria, against which Turkey is a potentially crucial ally

Both sides have begun to withdraw heavy artillery from the frontlines in Idlib province, a crucial first step in the creation of a 15-20km demilitarised zone separating the Assad regime and what remains of Syria’s armed opposition. The move comes after Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayip Erdogan agreed a roadmap aimed at overcoming their conflicting interests…

On September 14, workers on the construction site began an impromptu strike in protest against unsafe and inhumane working conditions, including poor food and accommodation…

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