What is the destination of the gunmen in the areas along Aleppo-Lattakia Highway if it became in service again?

Lately news of Aleppo-Lattakia Highway has dominated the political and military theater in Syria after Aleppo-Damascus Highway has been liberated, secured and reverted to normal. In the past few weeks, violent battles took place in the areas of the countrysides of Aleppo and Idlib within the operations of the Syrian army repelling the attacks of the Turkish army and the terrorist Nusra Front organization.

Most of the attacks against the Syrian army were centered in Sarakeb that lied on the highway. Turkey also suffered a great deal of losses in forces and ammunitions, eventually forcing the Turkish President, Recep Teyyip Erdogan to call for a meeting with Russian President, Vladimir Putin in Moscow.

Both parties agreed on ceasefire in the meeting. Talks over Aleppo-Lattakia Highway M4 emerged then. The agreement stipulated that all fights shall stop in Idlib and a secure way 6 km wide in the north and 6 km wide in the south shall be set up. The agreement said that the coordination of the accurate standards for the safe corridor work through communication channels between the Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation and the Turkish government will be within 7 days along with Russian patrols starting om March 15, 2020 on M4 Highway from the village of Tranbeh two kilometers away from Sarakeb.

Hence, enquiries emerge over the destiny of the areas along Aleppo-Lattakia Highway in case it was reopened, taking into consideration that the number of villages along the road is big with the largest and most important Ariha, Jisr Shoughoor and al-Mastoomeh.

Political and media consultant Buthaina Shaaban said that te Syrian army will regain control over both areas of Jisr Shoughoor and Ariha in Idlib countryside as soon as the agreement between Russia and Turkey is put into effect.

Shaaban explained that the agreement stipulates that the Syrian army regains both areas and open M4. The agreement implicated that the areas recently taken by the Syrian army will remain under the control of the Syrian army. Shaaban added that the agreement does not imply that the Syrian army would be prevented from resumption of its battles at any time, which refers to the possibility of resumption of the military operation of the Syrian army and that the operation has not fully stopped.

Syrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and its Russian counterpart reiterated that the agreements throughout the Syrian crisis do not include the internationally designated organisations as terrorist, namy Nusra Front that is controlling Idlib countryside since negotiations with these organizations against the law in the first place.

Maria Zakharova, spokeswoman of Russian Foreign Ministry said it is crucial to eradicate the terrorist organizations in Syria and Moscow will not change its stance toward it. Zakharova stressed that stopping fights in Idlib reiterates keeping to fight terrorism in all its forms. Turkish Minister of Foreign Affairs said that the south of the highway would be under Russian observation whereas the north would be under Turkish observation. Russian and Syrian troops will take control over 6 km south and along the highway between Tranbeh west Sarakeb east Idlib and Ayn Hor in Idlib southwest countryside.

A political and military analyst pointed out that in case the Russian Turkish agreement was put into effect without problems or violations, reconciliations is on the way to which both the Syrian government and the non-Nusra militants are heading to.

Reopening Aleppo-Lattakia Highway would has a big significance as it takes a short cut between Aleppo and Lattakia and it activates the economic movement between Lattakia Harbor and the capital of the Syrian economy, i.e. Aleppo.

It is worth noting that Lattakia started the removal of the piles and barriers in the highway M4 as well as in the direction of Kafraya 28 km long at the entrance of the city after the Russian Turkish agreement was announced. On Tuesday, Lattakia mayor also stated that more than 50% of the work on the highway has been done.

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