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The deal struck in Sochi, credited with potentially averting what would have been a devastating war in Idlib, is a big win for Moscow.As was seen in Aleppo in 2016 during Moscow-Washington talks, Iran, he said, has in many cases derailed agreements that Russia has tried to strike with different parties.With the zone jointly patrolled by Russian and Turkish forces, Iran would now be forced to coordinate with Russia and its room for maneuvering limited, said Aykan Erdemir, senior fellow at the Washington-based Foundation for Defense of Democracies and a former member of the Turkish Parliament. "Most cunning of all, by agreeing to this deal, Russia has effectively forced Turkey and by extension the United States, to be the de facto sheriff of Idlib".This, he said, now leaves Turkey to take on Al-Qaeda-linked militants in Idlib, not Russia or Assad.Oliver predicts that Russia will be trying, if it has not already, to get some form of unpublished agreement in place with Iran, with Moscow understanding that it also needs to play the long game with Tehran.
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