Putin, Erdogan to 'activate' cooperation on Syria – Kremlin
MOSCOW, Russia – Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Friday, August 23, agreed to "activate mutual efforts" to ease the situation in Syria's Idlib region, the Kremlin said.
"They discussed the issues of Russian-Turkish cooperation in the context of stabilization of the de-escalation zone," the Kremlin statement said.
"They agreed to activate mutual efforts with the goal of liquidating the terrorist threat coming from this region," during a phone call initiated by Erdogan, it said.
The Turkish presidency said "ceasefire violations in Idlib by the regime, and its attacks have led to a grave humanitarian crisis."
"These attacks damage the efforts to regulate the Syrian conflict," it said.
The Syrian regime and Russia have been bombarding Idlib, the last major jihadist-run bastion in the country, for 4 months. Idlib is protected by a buffer zone patrolled by Turkish troops that was part of a deal reached last year.
But a Syrian regime offensive has this week surrounded a Turkish military observation post – one of 12 established by Ankara in the region – prompting warnings from the Turkish government.
Turkey and Russia back opposing sides in the Syrian conflict but have worked closely, along with Iran, to find a political solution for Syria.
The war in Syria has killed more than 370,000 people since it started with the brutal suppression of anti-government protests in 2011. – Rappler.com