Russian President Vladimir Putin and his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron held a phone conversation, discussing the escalation of tensions in the Syrian region of Idlib, according to the Kremlin on Saturday.
“The Presidents continued their exchange of views on Syria, with a focus on the escalation of tensions in Idlib. Vladimir Putin told the French President about steps taken to fight terrorists in northwestern Syria,” Kremlin said in a statement.
Putin noted that all relevant aspects of the Syrian settlement are to be substantively discussed in Moscow during the Russian-Turkish summit planned in the coming days, the statement further added.
On Wednesday, Russia and Turkey were planning a series of consultations regarding Syria’s last rebel stronghold of Idlib.
Earlier, the Syrian regime and Iranian-backed groups also launched a ground offensive in Aleppo province, a designated de-escalation zone, forcing at least 13,000 more civilians to move toward Turkey’s border.
The war in Libya, where Turkey was sending troops in support of the UN-recognized Government of National Accord, and the conflict in Syria, where Ankara and Moscow are both militarily involved, are also set to dominate the summit as well.
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.