Russia, Turkey ‘begin joint patrols’ along Syria’s M4 highway

Turkey and Russia have started joint military patrols along a strategic highway in Syria’s northwestern region, Russian news agencies said,

Russia sent military police and armoured vehicles to the patrol, which began on Sunday from the settlement of Tronba in Idlib province, the last opposition-held stronghold in the country, TASS, Interfax and RIA-Novosti news agencies said.

The patrols are part of a ceasefire deal reached earlier this month by Turkey, which backs certain opposition groups, and Syrian government ally Russia to halt an escalation of violence in Idlib that has displaced nearly a million people and brought the two countries close to direct confrontation.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said earlier this month that his country would not shy away from even stronger military action in Idlib if the ceasefire is broken.

Under the ceasefire deal, Turkey and Russia are meant to also establish a security corridor either side of the key M4 highway, which links Syria’s east and west.

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