Turkey, Russia working on de-escalating conflict in Syria’s Idlib province: ministry

PHOTO: Kurdistan24

Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar and his Russian counterpart discussed by phone developments in Syria’s Idlib province and measures to reduce tension in the area, the Turkish Defense Ministry said on Tuesday, Reuters reported.

A renewed wave of violence in northwestern Syria has killed more than 120 civilians, rescue workers and civil defense officials say. The offensive by the Syrian army and its allies, backed by Russia, has uprooted more than 150,000 people in the biggest escalation in the war since last summer, the United Nations says.

On Monday rebels said they mounted a counterattack against government forces in northwestern Syria, where Idlib is located, ramping up battles in Syria’s last major insurgent stronghold.

A senior rebel commander said the latest offensive showed an array of rebel forces — from Turkey-backed rebels to jihadists — were still able to prevent the Russian-backed army assault from making any major territorial gains in the third week of heavy airstrikes.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Monday told his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, that the Syrian government was targeting Turkish-Russian cooperation in Idlib by violating the agreed ceasefire, a deal that had staved off a government offensive since September.

The rebels’ ability to withstand some of the heaviest airstrikes in over a year had strengthened Ankara’s hand in recent days where it has pushed Moscow to scale down the campaign, a senior opposition figure in touch with Turkish intelligence told Reuters.

Moscow had been exerting pressure on Ankara to start an operation against the opposition-held areas after Turkey’s failure to push rebels to agree to Russian patrols and get al-Qaeda-inspired militants out of a buffer zone that underpinned the Turkish-Russian deal.

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  1. Lets face it: The agreement fundamentally previeuwed : the regio would be DEMILITARISED – included was that the reopening and free passage of the M4 and M5 highways by end of the year 2018 -Jihadist rebels had to abandon the areas – Turkey would installe safegaurd posts to implement this. Nothing was done except after a lot of pressure Turkey build at last some observation posts who do nothing as blaming Non jihadists. The agreement was temporary ( 5 months )not to last for ever and it was a two way agreement that is only fulfilled by one side. Erdogan created in Syria a bunch of terrorists of all kind, most of them are killers, robbers, rapers, thief’s etc and stuffed them after each defeat in Idlib, what made from Idlib a lawless hell. He made them all sorts of promises if they fought Syria allso the hospitality of Turkey. He knows that all these men are criminals and now it is payday and he can not deliver. So he want to keep them silenced, suppliers them all with all weapons they need to conquer the Russians and Syria. But they have no rules, no ethic, no law, no real command so they are lose canons. On the other hand he needs cannon fodder to fight an other day, he hopes to send them in North East Syria against YPG. He is making a mess of everything he touches is the anti Midas and the incarnation of Caligula.