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Russia, Turkey join efforts to prevent humanitarian disaster in Idlib — defense ministry

September 13, 2018, 13:16 UTC+3 ANKARA

The Turkish defense minister says Turkey is working with Russia and Iran to prevent a humanitarian disaster in Syria’s Idlib

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© Syrian Civil Defense White Helmets via AP

ANKARA, September 13. /TASS/. Turkey is working with Russia and Iran to prevent a humanitarian disaster in Syria’s Idlib, said Hulusi Akar, Turkish Minister of National Defense, on Thursday.

"Any military actions in Idlib will lead to a disaster in a region that is already experiencing difficulties. We’re cooperating with Russia and Iran to prevent a humanitarian disaster," Anadolu Agency quoted him as saying.

The participants of the third Russia-Iran-Turkey summit held on September 7 in Tehran approved a package of measures to further regulate the situation in Syria, paying special attention to the situation in Idlib. In their final declaration, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan expressed the intention to continue cooperation until the total elimination of terrorism and the stabilization of the situation in Syria. The Russian leader stressed at the final press conference that ousting militants from Idlib is "the main task at this stage."

In 2017, the northern de-escalation zone was created in Idlib, where militants and their families who refused to reconcile and lay down arms could move to. According to UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura, there are about 10,000 militants from the terror groups Jabhat al-Nusra and Al-Qaeda in this region. The restoration of control over the province by Damascus will mean the end of the massive military confrontation in Syria.

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