Russia, Turkey agree borders of demilitarised zone in Idlib

Turkey's defence ministry said on Friday that Turkey and Russia agreed on the borders of the demilitarised zone to be set up in Idlib, a rebel-held enclave in Syria. 

Turkish and Russian officials held meetings between Sept. 19-21 in Ankara, and the borders of the demilitarised zone were decided taking into account the area’s geographical structure and residential areas, the Ministry said. 

Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Monday announced an agreement to create a demilitarised buffer zone patrolled by Turkish and Russian soldiers in Idlib.

The deal between Turkey and Russia effectively postponed a military attack by the Syrian government, which is determined to seise the control of the last rebel stronghold in the country.

The deal gives Russia the responsibility of taking measures to avoid an attack on Idlib, while Turkey is given the task of removing radical rebel groups from the demilitarised zone by Oct. 15 and their weapons by Oct. 10, the Financial Times said.

Speaking during a visit to Sarajevo on Friday, Russia’s foreign minister Sergei Lavrov said al-Qaida affiliated Nusra front fighters should leave the demilitarised zone by mid-October.