TURKISH, RUSSIAN MILITARY CHIEFS DISCUSS IDLIB ON PHONE


15/02/2020




Selin ATAY-TDO- (15.02.2020)- Turkish and Russian military chiefs had a phone call to discuss latest developments in Idlib, a de-escalation zone in northwestern Syria, the Turkish army said on Thursday.

Turkey’s Chief of General Staff Gen. Yasar Guler and his Russian counterpart Gen. Valery Gerasimov also exchanged views on the current issues, the Turkish Armed Forces said on Twitter.

Earlier on the same day, Russian officials had a meeting with the PKK terrorist group's Syrian offshoot, the People's Protection Units (YPG), in Ayn al-Arab, allegedly reassuring the terrorist group that they will do their best to ensure that the Turkish military does not attack the area.

Turkish troops are in Idlib - nominally a cease-fire zone, under a deal between Turkey and Russia - as part of an anti-terror and peace mission.

Idlib has been a stronghold of the opposition and anti-government armed groups since the outbreak of the Syrian civil war in 2011.

In September 2018, Turkey and Russia agreed to turn Idlib into a de-escalation zone in which acts of aggression are expressly prohibited.

But more than 1,800 civilians have been killed in attacks by regime and Russian forces since, flouting a 2018 cease-fire and a new one that began on Jan. 12.


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