A Deal Between Turkey and Russia Won't Stop the Crisis in Idlib

Sep 19, 2018 | 09:00 GMT

This photo, taken on Sept. 9, 2018, shows destruction in the town of al-Habit on the edges of rebel-held Idlib province.

Destruction in the town of al-Habit on the edges of Idlib province. Russia and Turkey have reached an agreement to prevent a major Russian-backed loyalist offensive on Syria's last rebel stronghold.


Russia and Turkey have come to an agreement over Syria's last rebel stronghold, Idlib. Following their latest round of talks in Sochi, Russia, on Sept. 17, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced their deal to set up a 15- to 20-kilometer (9.3- to 12.4-mile) jointly patrolled demilitarized zone around the province by mid-October. The agreement, which will prevent Russian-backed loyalist forces from launching a major offensive to reclaim Idlib from the rebels, stands to ease tensions between Russia and Turkey. Nevertheless, the standoff over Idlib is far from resolved, and numerous obstacles remain that could undermine the deal....