The Syrian Observatory For Human Rights

Protesters cut off M4 using tires and jihadi groups threaten to attack the anticipated Turkish-Russian joint patrols

Syrian Observatory activists have reported seeing more civilians arriving at Aleppo-Latakia international highway (M4). They have cut off the key highway using rubber tires, blocking the way of the Turkish-Russian joint patrol which is supposed to be run this morning according to the deal agreed upon between Putin and Erdogan.

Russian and Turkish vehicles have arrived in the area but the patrol has been run so far. Meanwhile, many reconnaissance drones are flying over the area.

On the other hand, several fighters of a jihadi group appeared in a video threatening to attack the joint patrol, one of whom was captured saying “We are on the highway, if the joint patrol is conducted we will attack it.”

Separately, an explosion went off near the place where the civilians have been gathered. The explosion  was caused by detonating an old land-mine by engineering teams affiliated to opposition factions.

SOHR source reported earlier this morning that tense calm is prevailing in the area of “Putin–Erdogan” as the new ceasefire in the “de-escalation zone” enters its tenth consecutive day. Meanwhile, Turkish-Russian joint patrols are expected to start to be run on Aleppo-Latakia international highway (M4) today, Sunday the 15th of March 2020, according to the agreement between Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart Receb Tayyip Erdogan.

On the other hand, SOHR activists have monitored escalating popular resentment among the people of Idlib towards the anticipated joint patrols. A large number of Idlib’s headed to the M4 to hold sit-in demonstrations, in rejection of the alleged Turkish-Russian agreement.

Yesterday, Syrian Observatory activists reported that the people of Idlib have been still holding a sit-in near Jisr Ariha overlooking Aleppo-Latakia international highway (M4), for the second consecutive day. Some protestors cut off the M4 highway from the side of Jisr Ariha by setting fire to tires. Meanwhile, a Turkish patrol has arriver in the area with other vehicles used for removing barriers, in order to clear the M4 highway for Turkey-Russia joint patrols which are planned to start tomorrow.