Omar Hourani - Al Jazeera Net
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin held talks Tuesday in Moscow with the continuation of military operations in northern Syria, which were at the top of consultations between the two sides.
The two presidents stressed during their meeting the commitment to the agreement "Astana" and the need to reach a calm in Idlib. During their press conference, they talked about the need to reach an agreement on the Idlib region.
Commenting on the meeting, military expert Colonel Ahmad Al-Hamada said that the visit came after the failure of telephone contact between the two parties after the regime forces took control of the northern Hama countryside and some towns of Idlib countryside.
"We do not know the extent to which this visit can bring things back to where they were, restore the spirit to the Sochi Agreement, or create the right atmosphere for a new agreement on Syria between the two sides," the spokesman said.
He said that there is no indication yet of a breakthrough in the Syrian file between the two sides, especially with the insistence of the Russians on international roads, and fighting the organizations they call terrorism, in addition to the establishment of a buffer zone up to 20 kilometers, which is the land around the roads.
According to Hamada, the Turkish point in Mork is part of an agreement between Russia and Turkey, expecting that Moscow will not allow the Assad regime to threaten or approach that point, especially with its efforts to rapprochement with Ankara recently.
According to reports, the Russian military police has placed a point near the Turkish post in Murk, and perhaps the road will be open to this point, but things need more time to arrange the papers, and it is possible to activate joint patrols between the parties, according to Hamada.
Bypass the contrast
For his part, political researcher Abdul Wahab Asi said that the meeting "does not seem to have achieved consensus between Turkey and Russia on the future of the de-escalation zone, and may rely on the guarantors in the course of Astana to overcome the divergence of positions through a possible meeting of the high-level GCC and then the next tripartite summit Between the guarantors of Astana. "
Speaking to Al Jazeera Net, Asi says Ankara is seeking to turn the region into a model of stability, which Erdogan reaffirmed, while Moscow insists on the application of the "step by step" model, which is to restore full control of the Syrian regime on the province and its surroundings.
He considered that the Moscow summit may contribute to a limited reduction in the level of military intervention in the level of air flights, with the continued attempts to advance the strategic axes in Latakia countryside, because Russia does not want to put Turkey in front of more military pressure, which explains the follow-up model "step by step" Talked about by Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov months ago.
Assi added that there is a desire of the guarantor countries to maintain the course of Astana and overcome all the challenges facing it, especially those arising from the divergence of positions, so a new version of the Sochi agreement is highly possible from the field changes imposed.
If the disparity of interests continues, according to Asi, Russia will return to impose its vision through the military option, but Turkey may increase its level of intervention to defend its security and political interests, Erdogan noted.
|A road leading to Idlib (Reuters)|
The Syrian regime forces have surrounded a Turkish military site in northwestern Syria, the "Mork" point, which is the largest Turkish points deployed in the countryside of Idlib and Hama, where 12 Turkish points are deployed, in accordance with the agreements to reduce the escalation around Idlib.
A convoy of military reinforcements sent by Ankara last weekend to the south of Idlib was hit by a Syrian airstrike on a car accompanying the Syrian opposition. The convoy was unable to complete its way to the observation post in Mork, where it has been suspended for more than a week north of Khan Sheikhoun.
On September 16, Ankara will host a summit of Erdogan, Putin and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani to discuss the situation in Syria, the fifth of its kind among the three presidents.
Impose a new map
In the meantime, the pro-Assad media talked that the field developments enabled the regime forces to impose and map a new map in the northern countryside of Hama and southern Idlib countryside, hoping to find a modified version of the Sochi Agreement.
On Monday, Turkish officers visited Turkish checkpoints deployed in northern Syria to inspect them and see the progress of patrols and patrols between the points in the region, coinciding with a talk about the resignation of officers responsible for Turkish checkpoints.
In a related development, the Pentagon said that Minister Mark Isber held telephone talks with his Turkish counterpart Hulusi Akar, during which they welcomed the implementation of a security mechanism in northeastern Syria.
The Pentagon spokesman said in a statement that the two ministers confirmed their intention to take immediate and coordinated steps to implement the agreed framework.