Erdogan probably wanted to stop Assad`s offensive in Idlib and keep territory under his de facto control as part of a 2018 deal brokered by Russia. Russia wants to restore a balance in the region, which probably reflects the territorial gains of the Syrian army, without rotting its relations with Turkey. The demilitarization of Idlib was an agreement between Turkey and Russia to create a demilitarized zone (DMZ) in the Syrian rebel zone of Idlib, which was to be patrolled by Russian and Turkish forces. On September 17, 2018, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan agreed to create a buffer zone in Idlib.  Russian President Vladimir Putin, who was alongside his Turkish counterpart Tayyip Erdogan, said he hoped their deal would lead to a halt to military action in Syria`s last major rebel stronghold in the northwest of the country. The deal was announced after about six hours of talks between Putin and Erdogan in the Russian capital. Ankara said Russia was not fulfilling part of the agreement that did not guarantee attacks on Idlib and the status quo on the ground. Akar said Turkey and Russia were working to make the ceasefire permanent, adding that Ankara and Moscow would establish joint coordination centers to monitor the agreement. ANKARA, January 10 /TASS/. Russia and Turkey have agreed on a ceasefire in the Syrian de-escalation zone of Idlib from 12 January, as announced by the Turkish Defence Ministry on Friday. The three-point agreement, read by the foreign ministers of both countries, also provided for the creation of a 12 km “security corridor” along the country`s crucial M4 motorway, which Russian and Turkish forces would begin with patrols at the end of next week.
The Islamic Party of Turkistan, Guardians of Religion Organization, Ansar al-Tawhid, Ansar al-Din Front and Ansar al-Islam rejected the agreement and jeopardized the agreement, while Tahrir al-Sham made an ambiguous statement on the agreement.  The agreement would effectively preserve some of the territorial gains made by Russian-backed Syrian forces during a three-month offensive in Idlib, the country`s last rebel stronghold, while maintaining a Turkish foothold in the region. “The fact that we are in agreement with the agreements brings hope for the future. We are moving forward,” the official said on condition of anonymity. Turkish officials and officials from Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) have been discussing an approach to Idlib since the beginning of the agreement, in line with the agreement`s guidelines. According to some reports, the most pressing topic of discussion is the uncertain fate of foreign fighters within the HTS, HTS suggesting that the group disband and be part of a roof of other groups, while foreign fighters enjoy security with the group leader Abu Mohammad al-Julani, discussions have been inconclusive in this regard, but satisfactory on other aspects, with many elements of the HTS hosting much of the Sochi agreement.  The government-run al-Watan newspaper also reported that the agreement would end with the return of government institutions in Idlib after rebel groups withdrew from residential areas.  On 5 March 2020, Russia and Turkey concluded a new ceasefire agreement comprising joint Russian and Turkish patrols from a 12-kilometre-wide corridor along the M4 motorway through Idlib to Latakia.   “I hope that these agreements will serve as the basis for stopping military activities in the Idlib de-escalation zone (and) the suffering of peaceful populations and the growing humanitarian crisis,” Putin said.