First published on Ahval News on 8 October 2018
International diplomatic efforts to bring an end to Syria’s civil war continue to stumble. Following last month’s trilateral summit in Tehran between the presidents of Iran, Russia, and Turkey, Vladimir Putin and Recep Tayyip Erdoğan held additional talks in Sochi. They agreed to create a new 15 to 20 km-wide demilitarised zone in Idlib, the last rebel-held province in Syria. The buffer zone would serve as a barrier between the armed opposition groups backed by Turkey, and Syrian government forces backed by Russia and Iran. Russian and Turkish forces would patrol the zone, which is due to come into effect by Oct. 15 .