BEIRUT, LEBANON (6:30 A.M.) – Turkey and Russia have failed to reach an agreement on a ceasefire inside the Idlib Governorate of northwestern Syria, the Syria-based Al-Watan newspaper reported on Monday morning.
Citing opposition sources, Al-Watan said the negotiations stalled between Turkey and Russia after the latter asked Ankara to hand over the Jabal Shashabo region in northwestern Hama.
In addition to handing over Jabal Shashabo, Turkey would have to withdraw from its observation post in Sher Magher, which was allegedly a major issue for Ankara during the negotiations.
The publication said the goal of the negotiations was to secure the Hmeimim Airport in southwestern Latakia, along with the Christian towns of Al-Sqaylabiyeh and Mhardeh in northwestern Hama.
Handing over Jabal Shashabo would be a major blow to the jihadist rebels and the Turkish-backed National Liberation Front, as it would leave the Syrian Arab Army in prime position for a future offensive in Idlib.
At the end of June, Russian President Vladimir Putin will be attending a meeting in Japan with Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Donald Trump. Putin is expected to discuss the situation in Idlib and the need for a military solution to the jihadist forces there.