Russia-Turkey agreement dead?
Outcome of the Sochi Agreement after a year and a half of its implementation is that the positions of terrorists and Turkish observatories in Idlib have mergedSource: Sputnik
This was stated by the official representative of the Russian Ministry of Defense, Major General Igor Konashenkov, Sputnik reports.
According to him, the situation in the Idlib security zone, where the Syrian army has pushed terrorists of the Hayat Tahrir Ash Sham group to a safe distance from Aleppo after attacking its positions, "represents another moment of truth."
He stressed that not only Western states but also the UN welcomed the signing of the Sochi Idlib Province 2018 Memorandum.
Russian proposals implied Turkish control of a strip of the Idlib de-escalation zone, 15 kilometers wide, along the Syrian-Turkish border, where Syrian refugee camps could be located. Currently, Turkish troops are positioned 20-35 kilometers from the border. The proposals also suggested deployment of Russian checkpoints between the Turkish-controlled part of the Idlib de-escalation zone and the areas of operation. Finally, the deal proposed that the M4 and M5 routes be open for traffic under joint Russian-Turkish control.
"No one in the West notices the actions of the Turkish side, which, in violation of international law, has deployed a strike force the size of mechanized division to Syria's Idlib in order to 'enforce the Sochi agreement at any cost'", Konashenkov said in a statement.
He also stressed that public threats to destroy all units of the Syrian government forces and return the M5 highway to terrorist control are viewed by the United States and Europe as "Ankara's legitimate right to defence".
Meanwhile, Damascus has been unfairly accused by the West of alleged "war crimes", "humanitarian catastrophe", and "flows of millions of refugees" in Idlib, Konashenkov added.
"Amid the total cynicism and the West's fake concerns over the humanitarian situation in the Idlib de-escalation zone, only the Russian center for reconciliation of the opposing sides and the legitimate Syrian government deliver to the liberated areas all the needed assistance for local residents daily", Konashenkov said.
Konashenkov added that tormented by terrorists, "Syrians were not even aware of the existence of numerous pseudo-protectors in Europe and the United States, and of the prodigal humanitarian assistance, which was allegedly delivered over the past years".
The Russian Defense Ministry's spokesman also slammed Western nations' claims about their concerns over the humanitarian situation in the Syrian province of Idlib as "total cynicism".
In any case, Moscow and Ankara do not seek to sever ties and are likely to continue to seek solutions to the Idlib equation.