Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced after six hours of bilateral talks on 5 March that they have negotiated a preliminary agreement to resolve the ongoing conflict in northwestern Syria. Here is the list of main points which the two major regional players have agreed upon:
- A ceasefire in Syria’s Idlib province will start at 00:01 on 6 March.
- Russia and Turkey will start joint patrols on the M4 highway in Syria. The patrolling will take place from the settlement of Tronba, located 2km west of the strategic town of Saraqib, to the settlement of Ain al Havr.
- A 12-km security corridor for Syria’s Idlib province will be established to the north and to the south of the highway. “The specific parameters of the functioning of the security corridor will be agreed upon by the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation and the Turkish Republic within seven days”, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said.
- Both countries agreed on efforts to prevent further aggravation of the humanitarian situation in Syria.
- All additional protocols to the document will come into force from the moment of its signature on 5 March.
According to the Russian military, the Turkish troops were not supposed to be present in the area fired upon by Syrian forces. Russian President Vladimir Putin also later said that nobody, including the Syrian army, knew about the Turkish troops' whereabouts.