Growing Turkish-Russian military cooperation in Syria is a dangerous sign of a wider shift to a closer strategic relationship between Turkey and Russia. Russia gave Turkey permission to fly air sorties into Northern Syria as part of an agreement for joint military patrols along the frontlines in Greater Idlib Province. The Turkish Armed Forces began joint frontline patrols with pro-regime forces on March 8 with accompanying overflights by the Turkish Air Force.

The Turkish-Russian agreement in Idlib Province demonstrates that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is failing in his attempts to spoil the de-escalation zone in Northern Syria brokered by Russia, Iran, and Turkey in 2017. Turkey will likely soon begin independent joint patrols with the Russian Armed Forces. Turkey and Russia began joint patrols of a separate area near Tel Rifaat north of Aleppo City on February 14. Turkey’s deepening relationship with Russia in Syria decreases the likelihood that the U.S. will reach a negotiated agreement with Turkey over the status of Eastern Syria.

Russia intends to use its engagement with Turkey in Western Syria to set conditions to cooperate with Turkey against the U.S.-Led Coalition and its partnered Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in Eastern Syria. ISW is closely following the evolving situation in Idlib Province and will provide further updates as necessary

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Konstantin (aka Leon Brookhill) was born in Moscow's Vystavka Dostizheniy Narodnogo Khozyaystva (VDNKh) district on 23 February 1961 the second son of a School master. Educated at Kazan National Research Technical University Казанский национальный исследовательский технический университет имени А. Н. Туполева he graduated in Economics in 1982. He was recruited to the Soviet 40th Army serving as a Сержант in Aghanistan,later transferring to 1008th Flak Artillery Regiment, before being struck in the shoulder by a stray shell fragment. Konstantin invalided out of the Army started up as Soviet blogger 'Maaxmann', later becoming a guard for a Moscow ballet company and it was there accompanying them in the West, that he had his first taste of the 'High Life'. Failing to return to Russia he resided first in Reutlingen, where he became a correspondent for Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung...later he moved to London to write for the Telegraph,where he now resides with his wife and 2 children.

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