Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Tayyip Erdoğan will meet in Sochi on 29 September and it is predicted that Turkey’s military presence in Idlib will be one of the most important topics of the meeting.
On 5 March 2020 Russia and Turkey agreed on a ceasefire in Idlib. The agreement emerged after a resumption of talks that had been held in Sochi in 2018. It was signed in Moscow by Putin and Erdoğan after weeks of intense fighting between Turkish-backed forces and Syrian forces supported by Russia.
Russian planes have been targetting Idlib since the beginning of September but the attacks have intensified recently as the summit approaches. In recent days Russia has been targetting Turkish-backed gangs in southern İdlib and also in the countryside around Latakia, and for the last two days it has also been carrying out airstrikes on Afrin’s Sherewa (Şêrawa) region.
ANHA reports that Russia has carried out at least four airstrikes on the village of Basile in Sherewa.
There are a Turkish military base and a number of check points run by Turkish-backed gangs in the village of Basile, which has been controlled by Turkey since Turkey’s operations against Afrin in 2018.
ANHA also reported that Russian planes carried out an airstrike on the village of Beradê in the Sherewa region of Afrin at around 9:30 this morning, 26 September.
Locals report that Russia is not targetting Turkey’s military base but rather the gang-run checkpoints, and also that Turkey has withdrawn some of its troops from the village since the airstrikes .
Both villages are located on the border of the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria (AANES).
Russia has also carried out four airstrikes on a Turkish base in the Barê region of Idlib.