MOSCOW, March 2. /TASS/. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan stated on Monday that he expects to reach an agreement on a ceasefire in Syria’s Idlib during the upcoming talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin, the Daily Sabah newspaper quotes the Turkish leader as saying.
"We will evaluate the recent changes in Idlib with Russian President [Vladimir] Putin. I hope that we will be able to facilitate a ceasefire and take other steps to resolve this issue," Erdogan said.
"I will talk with German Chancellor Angela Merkel. There are offers to hold four-or five-party summits," Erdogan added. "I hope that [during the talks with Putin], a decision on a ceasefire will be reached, along with other steps, and we will regulate the situation quickly," the NTV channel quotes the Turkish leader as saying.
Putin and Erdogan plan to hold talks in Moscow on March 5.
In the early hours of February 28, tensions in Syria’s Idlib escalated once again when Turkey stated that over 30 of its military officers had been killed in an attack of the Syrian government forces. In response, Turkey struck over 200 Syrian military targets.
The Russian Defense Ministry told reporters that militants of the Jabhat al-Nusra (terrorist organization outlawed in Russia) had attempted to launch a major offensive in Idlib. The Turkish servicemen that came under fire of the Syrian military were among the advancing militants, the ministry noted. The Russian Aerospace Forces did not participate in the attack, the defense officials informed.
On February 27, Turkey announced the launch of operation Spring Shield in Syria. Turkey previously held three military operations in Syria, creating a buffer security zone between the border towns of Azaz and Jarabulus, establishing control over Afrin and the territories to the east of the Euphrates.