Terrorists strove to retake parts of the highway after the army secured it, but they failed and their bodies are still scattered across the area. Now a Russia-Turkey ceasefire here is in effect and it seems to be respected so far.
The ceasefire agreement stipulates the establishment of two humanitarian corridors north and south of the M4 highway which stretches from Lattakia to Idlib. Turkey and Russia should jointly start patrolling the M4 on the 15th of March. The ceasefire comes after Turkey launched spring shield operation against the Syrian army on the 27th of February, assisting terrorists from Hayat Tahrir al-Sham. At least 60 Turkish soldiers have been killed since then.
Saraqeb, south east of Idlib, is the most strategic town in the province connecting the M4 and M5 highways.
Control over the town has seesawed back and forth between the government and the terrorists several times. We entered the terrorists’ strongholds. This is a prison they established and here is a court with documents titled ministry of interior, Syrian Salvation Government.
Inside, it seems that even assistance from the World Food Program fell into terrorists’ hands. The box shows the supplier is based in Turkey. This could add to evidence proving Turkey’s military and logistic support to various armed groups in Syria.
Since the start of the Syrian army military operation to retake Idlib, securing Saraqeb has been a main goal because controlling Saraqeb means controlling the M5 international highway that links Aleppo with central and southern Syria. And whether the ceasefire holds or not, the Syrian army seems to be determined to purge all of Idlib of terrorist groups whether militarily or via such agreements.