Putin and Erdogan agree to call off Idlib offensive, buffer zone instead

As DEBKAfile reported earlier, the Idlib offensive planned by Russia, Iran and Syria has been postponed. After Presidents Vladimir Putin and Tayyip Erdogan agreed on this at Sochi on Monday, they announced that the two governments would establish a demilitarized zone that would run along the contact line between the armed opposition and Syrian troops. This zone will be controlled by Turkey and Russian military police. Russian Minister of Defense Sergey Shoigu then showed reporters the memorandum on the Idlib settlement signed by him and his Turkish counterpart, Hulusi Akar. DEBKAfile: The Putin-Erdogan deal is unlikely to hold back rebel attacks on Syrian and Russian targets for long. In a couple of months, the trilateral Idlib offensive will most like take place after all.

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