SYRIA: Failure and embarrassment over the first Russian-Turkish patrols on M4 between Latakia and Aleppo

IDLIB, Syria — After the cease-fire agreement between Russia and Turkey, the first joint patrol was conducted on Sunday on the road between Aleppo and Latakia. The patrol however was blocked by unidentified groups who used civilians as human shields, including women and children, and blocked the road for the patrol.

The Russian defense ministry confirmed the conduct of the first joint patrol with Turkey on the side of the International M4 road in the de-escalation area in Idlib. The patrol route was scheduled between the town of al-Tarnaba and the town of Ein al-Hour but was shortened because of the provocations by disgruntled Turkish-backed groups discontent with the ceasefire their backer Turkey signed with Russia and implicitly with the Syrian regime. Eyewitnesses said that protesters loyal to the so-called Free Syrian Army also climbed onto Turkish vehicles and stood in their way.

This despite of the agreed coordinated procedures of Russia and Turkey to prevent any possible provocations. The Russian defense ministry said that Turkey had been given more than enough time to take special measures to neutralize terrorist organizations and to ensure the security of joint patrols on the road.