Thursday, September 20, 2018

Idlib Agreement A Victory for Syria As Trade Routes Reopen

Idlib agreement a victory for Assad regime as trade routes to reopen
 
Definitely one plus in the Idlib agreement!
"Details of the agreement between Turkey and Russia on a demilitarised zone in the rebel-held northwestern province of Idlib, seen by The National, reveal a substantial victory for Damascus, even though it stalled a planned ground offensive there.

The announcement of the deal had at first appeared to deal a major blow to the Syrian government’s designs on the province. After weeks of building up forces around the edges and promising an attack, the Syrian army’s operation was nixed.

But the deal hammered out between Ankara and Moscow stipulates that two strategic highways running through the province be reopened to traffic by the end of the year, achieving a major aim of the planned government offensive without a shot being fired.

The M4 and M5 highways run from Latakia to Saraqib, and from Syria’s southern tip to the border with Turkey in the north – both have been cut off in Idlib since 2014.
Before the war, the M5 highway was a major trade route that connected the commercial hub of Aleppo to Damascus and on to the Jordanian border. The recapture of the two highways was seen as a likely first phase to a wider government assault on Idlib."


I’ve discussed the importance of opening the M-5 as well as the M-4 highways on more then a couple of occasions here at the blog- Which may be one reason why the Idlib deal came as far less of a surprise to me then most others:

"Leaks from the Astana talks, between guarantor nations in Syria (Russia, Turkey and Iran), show that questions surround how the roads would be secured and the extent of economic interest for the conflicting parties"
 "Reopening them would help resume trade between neighbouring Turkey and regime-held areas. The agreement says these steps are a way “to ensuring free movement of local residents and goods and restoring trade and economic relations”.
“Idlib is strategically relevant less as Idlib itself than as a crossroads between other more politically and economically significant provinces and as a gateway to Turkey,” said Sam Heller, a senior analyst at Crisis Group.

“For Damascus, reopening these roads is relevant economically as it attempts to reintegrate Syria economically and position itself for postwar reconstruction, and it has symbolic political value as another step towards a unified, state-controlled Syria,” he added.

You can see the full text of the Idlib document here

Or here


The re opening of the highways is written into the 10 point document. Check the 8th point out.

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