Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan discussed bilateral relations, Turkey’s ground incursion into Syria and the possibility of opening a humanitarian corridor to Aleppo in a phone conversation on Friday, the official Anadolu news agency has reported.
Anadolu said the two leaders discussed cooperation against terrorism and how to improve economic ties. Based on presidential sources, the agency also said Putin and Erdogan agreed to expedite efforts for the creation of a humanitarian corridor to deliver urgently needed aid to residents of Aleppo, which has recently come under intense air strikes.
BBC Turkce said Erdogan also informed Putin about the ongoing military operation launched by Turkey in a joint effort with rebel groups to dislodge the terrorist Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) from the area along the border with Turkey.
The US provided close air support in a Turkey-backed rebel operation to take the Syrian border city of Jarabulus from ISIL. The offensive was launched on Wednesday, and within hours, rebels were able to capture the city without resistance.
Russia expressed deep concerns over the Turkish intervention into Syria but fell short of a strong condemnation of the move, a sign that reflects Moscow’s desire to keep relations with Ankara as smooth as possible.
Turkey and Russia recently repaired strained ties that broke down after Turkish jets shot down a Russian warplane last year.