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Turkey’s president expresses condolences over death of Russian pilot in Syria

Vladimir Putin and Recep Tayyip Erdogan have discussed the situation in Syria
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan AP Photo/Burhan Ozbilici
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan
© AP Photo/Burhan Ozbilici

MOSCOW, February 8. /TASS/. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has expressed condolences in a telephone conversation with Russian President Vladimir Putin due to the death of Russian pilot Roman Filipov on February 3 in a terrorist attack in the Idlib de-escalation zone, the Kremlin press service reported.

"The discussion of the situation in the Syrian Arab Republic continued," the press service said. "The Turkish leader offered condolences to the Russian president over the death of Russian military pilot Roman Filipov, who operated a Su-25 aircraft, on February 3 in a terrorist attack in the Idlib de-escalation zone."

A Su-25 fighter operated by Filipov was shot down on February 3 over the Idlib de-escalation zone from a man-portable air defense system. The pilot managed to eject, but was involved in an unequal battle with terrorists. Being encircled by terrorists, the officer blew himself up with a grenade. Russian President Vladimir Putin awarded him the title of the Hero of Russia posthumously. The body of the pilot was taken to Russia and will be buried in Voronezh on February 8.

"A decision has been made to enhance coordination between the militaries and special services of Russia and Turkey in order to fight terror groups violating the ceasefire," the statement reads.

"The conversation emphasized the need for Russia, Turkey and Iran to continue cooperating in Syria," the statement reads. "There also was a discussion of further contacts at various levels," the Kremlin press service added.

The two presidents also "highlighted the importance of strictly implementing the Astana agreement on setting up de-escalation zones in Syria." Putin and Erdogan confirmed mutual commitment to resolving the issue through political means based on the United Nations Security Council Resolution 2254 and in line with the decisions made at the Syrian National Dialogue Congress held in the Russian Black Sea resort of Sochi in late January.

According to the Haberturk TV channel, the two presidents agreed to hold the next summit between Turkey, Russia and Iran in Istanbul.

Putin and Erdogan have discussed the possibility of holding a trilateral summit with the Iranian President Hassan Rouhani taking part, Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.

"A trilateral presidential level-meeting was discussed," he said. "No date for such a summit has been determined yet."