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Turkey coordinates operations in Idlib with parties to Astana agreements — Kremlin

October 25, 2017, 13:53 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Four de-escalation zones have been created in Syria under an agreement Russia, Iran and Turkey achieved in Astana

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MOSCOW, October 25. /TASS/. Turkey is responsible for security in the de-escalation zone in the area of Idlib and it coordinates operations with other parties to the Astana agreements, Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov told the media on Wednesday, when asked for a comment on reports the Turkish armed forces were allegedly acting in concert with the terrorist group Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, connected with Jabhat al-Nusra (terrorist organization outlawed in Russia).

"Turkey is responsible for maintaining security in the de-escalation zone in Idlib," Peskov said, adding that the Defense Ministry might provide more detailed information.

"All countries involved in the Astana agreements on the creation of de-escalation zones have been coordinating their actions," he added.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Tuesday his country’s military operation in Syria’s Idlib would soon be completed.

Since last May four de-escalation zones have been created in Syria under an agreement Russia, Iran and Turkey achieved in Astana. In the middle of September the guarantor countries declared all zones were operational. First, three zones were created in Eastern Goutha (a suburb of Damascus), Daraa province and the area of Homs. A fourth one incorporating Idlib province and parts of neighboring provinces Aleppo, Latakia and Hama was added later.

Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu and the UN Secretary General’s special envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura discussed the outlook for transition from de-escalation zones to a more stable political settlement in the country. No details of that meeting were disclosed, though.

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