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Militants force Turkey, Russia to shrink patrolled area on day 1

CAIRO – 17 March 2020: Hundreds of Turkey-backed militants blocked sections of the M4 highway connecting Aleppo with Latakia, pushing Turkey and Russia to shrink the area of their joint patrols that started on March 15 since the first day.
Turkey was supposed to patrol six kilometers northern the road, while Russia was due to patrol six meters southern the road. For that purpose, the Syrian Arab Army and the Turkish troops were removing sand barriers installed by Turkey to impede the advances of the Syrian Arab Army Turkey in Idlib.
The joint patrols were agreed upon by Russia and Turkey in 2018 but became effective as a result of an agreement between both presidents to achieve a ceasefire that began on March 6.
The Russian Foreign Ministry declared Monday that militants in Idlib violated the ceasefire, and that they were rearming and taking counter-offensive action.
As reported by Sputnik Arabic, the Russian Ministry of Defense announced on Monday the return of 577,000 Syrian refugees that left in July 2018 to Jordan and Lebanon. The number of refugees returning from Jordan is 395,248, while the number of those returning from Lebanon is 182,014.
The ministry pointed out that 15,000 of the internally displaced went back to their permanent residence in 24 hours on Sunday, pointing out that the Syrian Arab Army cleared 2.7 hectares of mines, and detonated 31 explosives without indicating their locations.

Turkish deployments in Syria hike ahead of joint patrol: SOHR

CAIRO – 14 March 2020: The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) reported that a Turkish column composed of 20 vehicles entered Syrian territories via Kafr Lusin Crossing a day before the Russian-Turkish patrol go into effect on Sunday.

Early in February, the Syrian Arab Army started operations to restore the eastern and southern countryside of Idlib, and the Western countryside of Aleppo from militants. The action triggered a direct Turkish military intervention since the outbreak of the Civil War in 2011. The engagements had become very fierce on February 27 before a cautious calm took place gradually.

Uncertainty over number of casualties in Idlib's engagements

CAIRO – 29 February 2020: Turkish opposition platforms reported according to military sources that the number of soldiers killed in Syria's Idlib since February 27 recorded 200 while that of the injured is 70-80.