Implications of the Persistent Targeting of Turkish-Russian Joint Patrols in Idlib
In Focus | Implications of the Persistent Targeting of Turkish-Russian Joint Patrols in Idlib
The Turkish-Russian joint military patrols have been attacked 4 times on the M4 highway. The attacks were carried out using RPG, IEDs and car bombs and targeted the 17th, 22nd, 24th and 25th patrols.
Three of the attacks were attributed to Khattab al-Shishani Brigades, a jihadist unknown group. Although the operations are not sufficient to conclude that the radical organizations stand behind the obstruction of the patrols’ function by limiting the cooperation between Russia and Turkey within the framework of the Moscow Memorandum, the continued targeting has several implications as follows:
• Resumed hostilities due to the high level of escalation on Idlib fronts, given that the persistent disruption of patrols means the joint work strategy and the confidence-building efforts will falter. Consequently, joint work within the scope of the Moscow Memorandum will be suspended and new rounds of negotiations will take place with regard to implementation and evaluation mechanisms.
• Reassessing the two sides ‘approach to combating terrorism, provided that personal diplomacy between Presidents Vladimir Putin and Recep Tayyip Erdogan will prevent any possible escalation from causing the collapse of the ceasefire agreement. Accordingly, either Turkey will pledge to end the file of jihadist organizations and secure the security corridor according to a timetable or a new memorandum of understanding will be added to the Sochi Protocol to includes ways of joint cooperation to secure the region.
• Continue to work according to the Moscow Memorandum and put efforts to prevent the collapse of the ceasefire from an escalating on the lines of contact and prevent the targeting of the joint patrols continued. Since both parties want to overcome all challenges especially when the situation is very complex and there is disagreement in many other common issues.
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