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Syrian opposition split over Russia-Turkey patrols in Idlib

The joint military patrols mandated by the Russia-Turkey cease-fire are in effect, sparking protests and dividing the Syrian opposition.

ALEPPO, Syria — The Turkish forces and Russian military police conducted their first joint patrol mission on the M4 highway in Idlib March 15. The move comes as part of the countries' implementation of a March 5 cease-fire agreement. Yet the patrols were met with popular rejection and created division among the Syrian armed opposition.

Russia’s Defense Ministry said March 15 the patrols on the M4 highway were cut short at the Turkish forces’ request, stating that “terrorist groups” were using civilians as human shields. The ministry added that it has given Turkey more time to create safe conditions for the patrols on the M4, which runs from Aleppo to Latakia.

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