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What are the benefits of reopening the Aleppo-Lattakia international road ?

6 months have passed since the work of the Russian-Turkish joint patrol on the international Aleppo-Latakkia road "M4" within the agreement which is between the 2 sides.

What are the benefits of reopening the Aleppo-Lattakia international road ?

Khaled Iskef

Following the Turkish military operation that effected northern Syria, and failed due to the confrontation of the Syrian and Russian Armies to the Turkish assaults.

While regaining control over large areas of the countryside of Hama and Aleppo and a part of the southern countryside of Idlib.

Which allowed the reopening of the Aleppo-Damascus International Highway after securing both sides.

The return of the movement on the Aleppo-Damascus International Highway, which improved highly in the commercial movement between Aleppo in the north and the rest of the Syrian governorates.

Noting that this move was difficult due to the link between the city and the rest of the Syrian areas was limited to the Khanasser road in Hama countryside only, near the areas controlled by the armed groups.

As a result, and after the stability of the situation and the return of the movement in the Aleppo-Damascus highway “M5”, all the was eyes turned towards the second important international road in Syria.

Which is the Aleppo-Lattakia highway, which connects the Syrian coast with the areas northern and eastern Syria.

This road extends along the southern countryside of Idlib, which is controlled by the terrorist organizations such as the “Al-Nusra” front, In addition to the Turkish army.

However, the importance of this road, which is in the connecting of the eastern and western Syria, has made most of the agreements revolve around the process of securing it reopening it.

Russia managed to reach an agreement to conduct the joint patrols between Russia and Turkey along the “M4” road, during the ceasefire negotiations after the Turkish military operation, which ended with the opening of the “M5” highway in preparation for its reopening, after withdrawing all the factions present in it and securing its sides through demilitarized zone.

The agreement came into effect and the first joint patrol came out on the road on 03-15-2020, but these patrols collided during the first months with various provocations and targets, carried out by armed factions who rejected the signed agreement, noting that these factions belong to Turkey, and are supported by it.

The situation continued as it was for several months, during which the patrols did not stop, as they moved a specific distance and returned without completing the full path, and most of the time those patrols would reach the Jericho bridge only before they returned, because the militants cut off the road and targeted the patrols there.

Despite this, the russian efforts that aimed to succeed the functioning of the agreement have not stopped, stressing that Turkey must control those armed factions affiliated with it and withdraw them from the region immediately, in compliance with the terms of the ceasefire agreement that was previously agreed on.

As the joint patrols made a remarkable progress after a period of time in their mission all along the international highway, crossing the city of Jericho including Jisr Al-Shughour, and thus the patrols were advancing more in their path each time, until the entire path set for them from the village of “Tarnaba” in Saraqib to “Ain Hor” was completed on 07-22-2020.

However, the attacks continued to reach those patrols from time to time, despite continuing the operation almost daily , which reflects the great importance of this international highway at the economic and geographical levels, and explains the Russian insistence on continuing the patrols despite the attacks on them.

The importance of the Aleppo-Lattakia International Highway is comparable in some way to the importance of the Aleppo-Damascus International Highway geographically, as it not only connects the regions of the Syrian coast with Aleppo only, but also extends to the eastern regions of Syria, meaning it is a vital artery that connects the far west to the far east of the country, in the same way the Aleppo-Damascus highway connects the north and south of the country.

Here, the “M4” road must be divided into two sections, the first will be extending from the city of Aleppo to the Syrian coast, and the second will be extending from Aleppo to Albukamal in the east of the country, and in this case the work will be restored in the part connecting Aleppo and Lattakia, passing through Idlib countryside.

The entire road will be back to service, connecting Lattakia and the Syrian coast with the cities of Aleppo, Raqqa, Deir Al-Zour, and the eastern borders of Syria with Iraq in Albukamal, as Russia had previously secured and re-worked parts of the road from the east of Aleppo, firstly the part extending from Tabqa to Raqqa, which is under the control The of the US-backed “SDF”, and the second in its northern branch, extending to Ain Issa in the countryside of Raqqa, to Tal Tamr in the countryside of Hasaka.

As for the part extending from al-Tabqa to Raqqa, the Russian agreement with the “SDF” to restore its work leads to ease and a great shortcut in time to get from Aleppo to Raqqa, and the extension of the road from Raqqa to Deir Al-Zour to Albukamal on the Syrian-Iraqi border falls in the hands of The Syrian state.

As a result, the M4 highway returns from the Aleppo-Lattakia side, a full connection will return between the west and the east of the country, on the following route, the Syrian coast – Jisr al-Shughour – Jericho – Saraqib – Aleppo – Tabqa – Raqqa – Deir Al-Zour – Mayadin – Albukamal.

The economic importance of reopening the road is clearly shown after explaining the areas that this road passes from and the resulting the return of the commercial movement between the far east of Syria with its far west.

We can say that the greater importance of the road lies in some of the oil fields in the eastern region, where the production will be transported to the coastal and central region of Syria, for the refineries and oil refining facilities.

Reopening of the road will positively affect the food sector in Syria, as it’s known that the Syrian Jazeera’s area is the richest in agriculture, as it is spread over large areas there, and it’s the basic occupation of the people, as it resulted in many wealth deprived of Syria throughout the years of war.

it is possible that it will return again and alleviate the difficult economic sanctions imposed on it with a solution that has been achieved by this geographical connection through the “M4” highway.

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