MOSCOW, February 12. /TASS/. The Russian Foreign Ministry rejects Turkey’s accusations of Russia and Syria attacking civilians in the Idlib province, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said during a briefing on Wednesday.
"We reject these accusations. We are stating our position. We do not deny that Turkey and Russia do not coincide on many issues, including this one," she said. "This is why our experts have recently returned from Turkey, where they met with the Turkish side."
The diplomat added that in the near future, Russia might hold talks with Turkey to expand on all difficult issues existing between both states.
On Wednesday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan claimed that the Russian and Syrian armed forces might be attacking civilians in the Idlib province instead of terrorist targets.
Earlier, the Russian Foreign Ministry noted a rise in tensions in the Idlib de-escalation zone in the past few weeks. The Russian and Turkish military made another attempt to establish a ceasefire, however, terrorist attacks persisted. As a result, military specialists from Russia and Turkey were killed.
On February 5, Syrian government forces entered the town of Saraqib, an outpost of the Jabhat al-Nusra terrorist group (banned in Russia) in the Idlib province. Saraqib is a town of strategic importance that sits at the junction of two main roads connecting Latakia and Damascus with Aleppo.
On February 3 and 10, the Turkish military came under attack of the Syrian army twice. In response, Turkey hit over 120 targets of the Syrian military in Idlib.
Idlib is the only Syrian region that has been controlled by illegal armed groups since 2012. A northern de-escalation zone was set up in Idlib in 2017 to give shelter to militants who refused to surrender arms in Eastern Ghouta and Syria’s southern regions. The Turkish army has 12 observation outposts in the province.