Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Wednesday discussed de-escalation of the Syrian crisis, saying Russian-Turkish agreements should be implemented in full, the Kremlin said.
President Putin told to Erodan in a telephonic conversation, “The importance was noted of the full implementation of existing Russian-Turkish agreements,” the Kremlin said in a statement.
The announcement came against the backdrop of rising tensions following deadly attacks by the Assad regime on Turkish troops in Idlib.
Five Turkish troops were martyred and five more injured in shelling by regime forces in Idlib on Monday, following a similar attack last week martyring seven Turkish soldiers and a civilian contractor.
Turkey has retaliated against the attacks under the rules of engagement and its right to legitimate self-defence, killing nearly 200 Assad military personnel since last week.
Idlib has been a stronghold of the opposition and anti-government armed groups since the outbreak of the Syrian civil war in 2011.
In September 2018, Ankara and Moscow reached an agreement in Sochi, Russia, to turn Idlib into a de-escalation zone in which acts of aggression are expressly prohibited.
Turkey launched a cross-border assault on Kurdish fighters after the US decided to withdraw troops from Syria, a move that was criticised by the Republicans, with some terming it a “betrayal” of the Kurds.
The Syrian army entered the city of Tabqa in the northern countryside of Raqqa province, as part of its move to enter Kurdish-held areas to counter the ongoing Turkish assault in the region.
More than 50 people, including civilians, have been killed last week as the Turkish offensive in Syria, which was launched by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan aimed at pushing the Kurdish forces away from its border.