The Iranian, Turkish and Russian heads of state will meet on Monday in Ankara to try to secure a truce in Northwest Syria. These latest talks come after Syrian government attacks in the region threaten to deepen turmoil in the area and send a new wave of migrants into Turkey.
The summit will focus on the Idlib province, the last strong hold of those seeking to overturn President Bashar al-Assad's government that is backed by Iran and Russia.
After a deal was signed with Moscow and Tehran two years ago, Turkey created 12 military posts in northwest Syria to help reduce fighting between rebel forces and President Bashar al-Assad’s government. Recent Syrian military action there has seen those posts caught in the crossfire. Turkey has warned Al-Assad’s government of retaliation should these posts be directly attacked. The talks are therefore crucial to deescalating this tension.
Furthermore, Turkey wants to create a safe zone in Northern Syria to resettle some 1 million Syrian refugees there. The Turkish military has recently patrolled the Syrian border zone with US forces in a bid to create the safe zone bilaterally. However, the US and Turkey remain divided on key elements of the project. The summit will play a key role in helping this project come to life and to reduce violence in the region.