The leaders of Russia and Turkey announced Monday that a deep demilitarized zone will be established in Syria’s Idlib region, the last bastion of anti-government terrorists where a devastating offensive by Syrian forces would take place.
The zone will be established by Oct. 15 and be 15-20 kilometers deep, President Vladimir Putin said at the end of a more than three-hour meeting with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
“I believe that with this agreement we prevented a humanitarian crisis in Idlib,” Erdogan said at a joint briefing with Putin in Sochi.
The province of Idlib in the country’s northwest is the last stronghold of Syrian terrorists, and Turkey has been eager to avoid an assault there.
Asked whether the Syrian government agreed with the Putin-Erdogan plan, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu told reporters in Sochi that “in the coming hours, we will agree with them on all the positions put forth in this document.”
Putin said the demilitarized zone would be enforced by patrols of Turkish forces and Russian military police.