Erdogan seeking urgent cease-fire in Idlib on Putin visit
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's visit to Russia aims to reach an immediate cease-fire in Syria's restive province of Idlib, Turkey's presidential spokesman said Wednesday.
Iran Press/ Asia: "On the way to Moscow, our main aim is immediate cease-fire within the framework of the Idlib agreement we signed with the Russian Federation,” Ibrahim Kalin told a press conference following a Cabinet meeting in capital Ankara.
Noting that Ankara has comprehensive relations with Russia, Kalin said that Turkey wishes to reach an agreement under a common understanding especially on Idlib, however, Turkey’s position is “absolutely clear” on the issue.
Erdoğan is due in Moscow on Thursday.
Kalin claimed that Turkey’s aim in Syria is not territorial gains, but to pave the way for a political process and to protect the civilians.
Intense fighting has killed dozens of Turkish soldiers and Syrian soldiers in Idlib in recent weeks, and Ankara launched a direct offensive against the Syrian Army.
Ankara wants to halt the Syrian Army's operation to liberate Idlib from militants. Idlib is the last bastion of anti-government forces.
Operations by the Syrian army and its allies in Idlib province, the latest base of terrorist groups in the country, have sparked Turkey's backlash and repeated threats.
In recent days, the Turkish military has been targeting Syrian army positions and infrastructure in the Idlib province. Meanwhile, Turkish troops have entered areas in northern Syria.
Clashes have taken place between Ankara and Damascus forces as the Syrian army continues to advance and liberate the last terrorist bases in Idlib and Aleppo provinces.
In the aftermath of the clashes, 34 Turkish military forces were also killed in Thursday night's attacks on Syrian and Russian fighters targeting the terrorist headquarters in Idlib.