ANKARA, February 20. /TASS/. Turkey and Russia may launch joint patrolling in Syria's Idlib de-escalation zone, Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar told CNN Turk TV channel on Thursday.
"All of this may be implemented. The main thing is that the Sochi memorandum is observed," Akar said in response to a question about several media reports that stated that Ankara and Moscow may launch joint patrolling in Idlib. "Our militaries in Idlib maintain a healthy dialogue. Contacts with Russia on Idlib will continue," he added.
"Talks on using the airspace for Idlib continue. The difficulties may be overcome if Russia does not obstruct. Our goal is to establish a ceasefire regime," the Turkish defense minister noted. He added that Russia "does not fully satisfy [Turkey's] requests on using [Syria's] airspace."
"We do not intend to start a confrontation with Russia. Our talks [on Idlib] have not stalled, they will continue. Our observation posts will also continue to operate," Akar stressed.
The situation in Idlib escalated at the start of February after Russian and Turkish forces made another attempt to introduce a ceasefire regime. In response, terrorists only stepped up their attacks. On February 11, the Syrian opposition with Turkey's support launched an offensive at the Syrian forces in Saraqib and Neirab in Idlib province. The Syrian army repelled the attacks.
On Wednesday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that Ankara is ready to use all of its military force in case of an operation in Idlib. He added that a military operation in Idlib is "only a matter of time.".