The March 5 deal will likely follow the fate of all previous Idlib deals and will soon disintegrate. First, it did not oblige the regime to abandon the territory conquered since last year and retreat to the lines defined by the Sochi agreement of September 2018, which Turkey had repeatedly requested. Instead, it legitimized the new “reality” on the ground, that is, the territorial gains that Syrian regime forces and allied militias have been able to achieve since December. The deal was announced after about six hours of talks between Putin and Erdogan in the Russian capital. It says tensions in Idlib are eased, attacks are averted in the region and the existing status quo is maintained. But since March, the regime`s attacks have multiplied, causing civilian casualties and in violation of the Idlib agreement. == Secretary-General Antonio Guterres “takes note” of the ceasefire agreement and hopes that it “will lead to an immediate and lasting cessation of hostilities that will ensure the protection of civilians in northwestern Syria who have already suffered enormous suffering,” said UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric. In May 2009, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan flew to Sochi, Russia, for a working visit with Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, during which he said: “Turkey and Russia have responsibilities in the region. We must take steps for the peace and well-being of the region.
These include the Nagorno-Karabakh problem, the dispute in the Middle East, the Cyprus problem. Mr. Putin replied that “Russia and Turkey are trying to solve such problems and facilitate them in all respects,” but “with regard to the difficult problems of the past – and the Karabakh problem is one of those issues – a compromise should be found by the participants in the conflict. Other States that contribute to finding a compromise on this point can play a role of mediator and guarantor in the implementation of the agreements signed. Regarding energy security, Erdoğan said: “The agreement on gas supply on the western road, signed in 1986, expires in 2012. We have agreed today to begin the immediate extension of this agreement. Some time ago, we reached an agreement with Russia to send reinforcements to stabilize the region – to prevent certain groups from continuing their attacks and detering regime attacks. We are actively involved. Unlike the battle for Aleppo, Moscow does not need Tehran in Idlib and has excluded it from talks with Ankara.
This has angered Iran`s leaders, who will likely try to spoil the Russian-Turkish deal by provoking the Turkish side. Turkey will probably react to all provocations, presumably with Russia`s agreement. At the beginning of the more than six-hour talks with the Kremlin, the two heads of state and government stressed the need for an agreement. One of the objectives was to avoid harming their bilateral relations and the flowering of trade. The deal appears to achieve Russia`s main goal, which is to allow the Syrian government to take control of strategic highways essential to consolidating its grip on the country after a devastating nine-year war. . . .