Strait Talk

Has Turkey prevented a bloodbath in Syria's Idlib?

A potential humanitarian crisis that the world was warning against for weeks, has been averted, at least for now. The Syrian's regime planned offensive into the last rebel stronghold of Idlib in the country's northwest, has been called off. The dramatic turnaround came after a whirlwind meeting in the Russian resort city of Sochi between Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin. The two leaders agreed to set up a demilitarized zone along the edges of Idlib province, and expel rebels, mostly al-qaeda linked HTS militants from the area. In their place, Turkish troops along with Russian soldiers will patrol a narrow buffer zone separating the rebel stronghold from regime held areas. The patrols will also ensure that there is no heavy weaponry inside the buffer zone. The international community has hailed the move, as Idlib's more than 3 million residents sighed a sense of relief. The agreement is set to come into effect before October 15. Turkish President Erdogan has described the agreement as a step towards peace. Guests: Yaser Tabbara Senior fellow Omran Centre for Strategic Studies Michael Bohm Journalist at Moscow Times.

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