ANKARA, January 19. /TASS/. Turkey continues implementing successfully the Sochi agreements with Russia on the Idlib de-escalation zone, in spite of provocations in the region, Turkey’s National Defense Ministry said on Saturday.
"The implementation of the Sochi agreements on Idlib is being successfully continued, despite of the provocations ongoing in the region," the ministry said in a statement.
On Friday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that terrorist groups were operating in about 70% of the Idlib demilitarized zone in Syria. According to Lavrov, Jabhat al-Nusra (a terrorist group banned in Russia - TASS) which has disguised itself as "Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham dominates [in the region] and violates the demilitarized zone agreements."
The Russian and Turkish presidents, Vladimir Putin and Recep Tayyip Erdogan, met in Russia’s Sochi on September 17, 2018 and their talks resulted in an agreement to establish by October 15 a demilitarized zone in Idlib, which should be 15-20 kilometers deep along the line disengaging Syria’s government troops and armed opposition.
Nonetheless, Ankara asked for extra time and for a delay in the beginning of the joint patrolling in Idlib, citing own inability to ensure security.