Russia's Defense Minister Shoigu to visit Turkey for Syria talks

Published 11.02.2019 09:49
Updated 11.02.2019 10:29
emAA Photo/em
AA Photo

Russia's Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu will make an unexpected visit to Ankara on Monday upon the invitation of Turkish counterpart Hulusi Akar.

The ministers are expected to hold talks focused on the latest development in Syria, particularly in northwestern Idlib province.

The talks will take place ahead of the trilateral leader's summit between Turkey, Russia and Iran that will be held in the Russian resort city of Sochi on Feb. 14.

Last September in Sochi, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin agreed to establish the Idlib demilitarization zone.

The following month saw all heavy weapons withdrawn from the de-escalation zone by Syrian opposition and groups opposing Bashar Assad's regime.

Nevertheless, according to the White Helmets, at least 30 people were killed in Idlib in January, including women and children, while another 180 were injured — in Idlib, Hama and Latakia — by regime drone attacks and artillery fire.

Last month also saw the regime targeting Idlib's southeastern countryside, along with rural parts of the Aleppo, Latakia and Hama provinces.

Syria has only just begun to emerge from a devastating conflict that began in 2011 when the Assad regime cracked down on demonstrators with unexpected severity.

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