MOSCOW, February 27./TASS/. Turkey continues supporting illegal armed groups in the Idlib de-escalation zone, using artillery and combat UAVs, chief of the Russian Center for reconciliation of the conflicting sides Oleg Zhuravlev told a briefing on Thursday.
"In violation of the Sochi agreements, the Turkish side continues supporting the activities of illegal armed units in the Idlib de-escalation zone through artillery fire and the use of combat reconnaissance drones for strikes on units of the Syrian Armed Forces," Zhuravlev said.
The situation in Idlib has escalated at the start of February after Russian and Turkish militaries made another attempt to impose a ceasefire regime, but terrorists only stepped up their attacks in response. Last week Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that Ankara is ready to use its full combat power in case an operation in Idlib is needed. Erdogan said that the start of a military campaign in Idlib is only a matter of time and that all preparations have been made.
On 17 September 2018 in Sochi, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan agreed to create by October 15 a 15-20 km deep demilitarized zone in Idlib along the contact line between the Syrian government forces and the armed opposition. However, Ankara asked to give it extra time and delay the start of joint patrolling in Idlib due to its inability to guarantee security.