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How can Russia, Turkey reach deal on Idlib?

In the run-up to the Turkish president's visit to Moscow, few options may be on the table with regard to Syria's Idlib.
A Syrian army soldier smokes cigarette as he sits on a military vehicle in Khan Sheikhoun, Idlib, Syria August 24, 2019. REUTERS/Omar Sanadiki - RC13C4D5FE50

The successful offensive by Russia-backed forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad has driven the Syrian opposition and the jihadist Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) from Khan Sheikhoun and surrounding areas on the southern edge of the Idlib de-escalation zone. The offensive also blocked Turkey's No. 9 Morek observation post.

Moscow and Ankara each accused the other of violating the Sochi memorandum. Ankara insists it does not intend to move either this observation post, which had found itself trapped behind the Syrian army, or other posts. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will travel to Moscow Aug. 27 to meet with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin to discuss the situation on the ground.

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