Erdoğan, Putin discuss Idlib, affirm commitment to Sochi deal

DAILY SABAH
ISTANBUL
Published 14.05.2019 00:12
Updated 14.05.2019 14:45
emIHA Photo/em
IHA Photo

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan discussed Idlib and bilateral relations with Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, the Turkish Presidency's Communications Director Fahrettin Altun said in a tweet Monday.

According to Altun, Erdoğan told his Russian counterpart in a phone call late Monday that tensions in the war-ravaged city were aimed at disrupting the Turkish-Russian partnership, and both of the leaders affirmed their commitment to the Sochi deal.

"The president also added that the ceasefire violations in the Idlib de-escalation zone are worrying, and the fact that schools, hospitals and civilians are targeted has no place in a proper fight against terror," Altun added.

During a phone call Tuesday morning, Defense Minister Hulusi Akar and Russian counterpart Sergei Shoigu discussed latest developments in Idlib, measures to reduce tensions in the region and security issues.

Syria's Bashar Assad regime forces and their supporters on Sunday killed three civilians in a rural area of opposition-held Idlib, the Syrian Civil Defense said.

According to the Syrian Civil Defense group, also known as White Helmets, the airstrikes and artillery attacks targeted al-Tah, al-Habit and al-Kabinah in Idlib, and Lataminah, Kafr Zita, Zezoun, Cher Maghar, Medan al-Ghazal and Sarmani villages in northern Hama.

The regime also carried out an artillery attack near the Turkish observation point in the Idlib de-escalation zone on Sunday, according to Anadolu Agency correspondents on the ground.

This was the third attack of regime forces near the observation point in two weeks. Similar attacks near the observation point was carried out on April 29 and May 4.

It is one of 12 observation points set up by the Turkish Armed Forces in May 2018, following the ninth round of Astana Peace Talks.

As guarantor of the Syrian regime, Russia is responsible for preventing attacks by regime forces and Iranian-backed militias, who repeatedly violated last year's Sochi agreement that aimed to establish a demilitarized zone in Idlib.

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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