03/06/2020, 10.49
SYRIA - TURKEY - RUSSIA
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Idlib, fragile truce between Turks and Syrians signed by Erdogan and Putin

In the disputed area there is an apparent calm. The slightest violation could trigger a new, violent escalation. The situation on the border with Greece remains dramatic. Ankara sends a thousand agents against rejections; the hostility of the Greek population towards asylum seekers is growing.

Damascus (AsiaNews / Agencies) - In the Idlib region, the last stronghold of the opposition and jihadist in Syria, there is an atmosphere of apparent calm with the entry into force of the ceasefire reached yesterday in Moscow by Russian President Vladimir Putin and the Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

The situation remains one of great tension, with some cannon shots from the sector occupied by the Syrian army. "In the early hours - says Ibrahim Al-Idlibi, one of the leaders of the anti-Assad opposition - we observe a tense calm from all sides in the war".

Local sources report that the various fronts in struggle are aware that a minimal violation of the truce will be followed by a harsh response from the opposite front and the balance remains precarious. The sensation is of extreme "fragility".

For months in the area, the Syrian army has launched a massive operation to recapture the last bastion controlled by fundamentalists and pro-Turkish anti-government militias. According to UN estimates, the fighting between the two fronts would have caused about one million displaced people, which represent the most massive exodus in nine years of conflict. At least 21 soldiers killed among Syrian troops; about 60 dead among the Turks.

The agreement reached yesterday after six hours of negotiations between Putin and Erdogan foresees: a ceasefire in force since midnight yesterday (local time) on the whole front; a security corridor about 6 km north and as many south of the M4 highway, a key route linking Idlib with Aleppo and Latakia, under government control. Joint Russian-Turkish patrols will be held on the road from 15 March. Erdogan instead had to surrender at the request for a withdrawal of the Syrian army from the places regained in these weeks of offensive.

Meanwhile, the situation on the border between Greece and Turkey continues to be dramatic, with thousands of refugees - of different nationalities - waiting in vain to cross the border to enter Europe. Turkey had decided to open the borders with Europe “blackmailing" the EU, which does not fully support its designs on Syria.

Yesterday Ankara decided to send a thousand special forces agents to the border with Greece "to avoid the rejection" of migrants by the Athens border guards; Greek security forces allegedly opened fire on March 4, killing a man. Finally, on the island of Lesbos, there would be about 20 thousand asylum seekers, crammed into overcrowded camps and targeted by the local population, who look at new attempts to disembark with growing hostility.

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