Negotiations between Russia and Turkey over the fate of the northwestern Syrian city of Idlib, which has been seeing an unprecedented wave of turmoil since last week, have already entered their third week.
The presidents of the two countries and their defense ministers maintain negotiations that will most likely keep things as they are in the city.
Idlib has been the target of an operation by the Syrian army – with assistance from Russia – since last month. The operation aims at obliterating the factions that control it.
Turkish Minister of Defense Hulusi Akar discussed latest developments in the city in a phone conversation with his Russian counterpart Sergey Shoygu today, according to the Turkish Ministry of Defense.
Both top generals discussed the measures that should be taken to keep the lid on tension in the city, the ministry said in a statement.
Contacts between Russia and Turkey on Idlib started on May 13th, three weeks after confrontations started between the Syrian army and factions controlling the city.
According to leaks, Russia and Turkey are at loggerheads, especially on Turkish demands for the Syrian army to pull out from the city.
The deputy head of the politburo of the National Liberation Front Abu Sobhi Nahas revealed on Saturday that Russia insists that the Syrian army stay in the areas it managed to liberate so far.
Turkey, he said, had approved a ceasefire in the city, but calls for the withdrawal of the Syrian army.
The state of negotiations on Idlib is uncertain as Turkey continues to send in military reinforcements, including anti-armor rockets.
Syrian activist Omar Rahmoun believes that Russia has the upper hand now and that Turkey had already started realizing that its proxy factions in Idlib are weak.
“The war will most likely come to an end in favor of the Syrian army,” Rahmoun told The Reference.
He added that Idlib’s crisis would only be resolved via military means that totally eradicate the militias controlling the city.