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Russian, Turkish defense ministers discuss situation in Syria’s Idlib - defense ministry

According to the ministry, Sergei Shoigu and Hulusi Akar exchanged views on the situation in Syria

MOSCOW, February 22. /TASS/. Efforts to stabilize the situation in Syria’s Idlib de-escalation zone were in focus of a telephone conversation between Russian and Turkish defense ministers, Sergei Shoigu and Hulusi Akar, the Russian defense ministry said on Saturday.

According to the ministry, the two ministers exchanged views on the situation in Syria. "The sides discussed issues of the stabilization of the situation in the Idlib de-escalation zone," the ministry said.

The situation in Syria’s Idlib was in focus of Friday’ telephone talks between Russian and Turkish Presidents, Vladimir Putin and Recep Tayyip Erdigan. The sides reiterated their commitment to their agreements on Idlib.

The situation in Syria’s Idlib de-escalation zone deteriorated dramatically in late January when Syrian government troops staged a counteroffensive to retaliate ceasefire violations by militants. A larger part of the Aleppo and Idlib governorate’s has been liberated.

Moscow has repeatedly voiced support to these counter-terrorist efforts whereas Ankara claimed that government troops had violated the Sochi agreements on peace settlement. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan warned about a possible military operation in Idlib.

On this background, militants’ attacks on Syrian government army’s positions have intensified and Russia’s aerospace forces’ taskforce joined retaliation efforts on February 20.