Turkey's Erdogan Says His Meeting With Putin on Syria Will Bring Hope

18 September, 2018, 08:15 | Author: Bert Pena
  • Erdogan said cooperation between Turkey and Russia would bring'hope to the region

Emerging from a high-stakes meeting in Sochi, Mr. Putin and Mr. Erdogan said they would designate and enforce a demilitarized zone roughly 9 to 12 miles deep in Idlib.

Putin added the sides agreed to "resume transit traffic along the Aleppo-Latakia and Aleppo-Hama highways by the end of 2018, also at the initiative of the Turkish side".

Speaking ahead of his meeting, Erdoğan said exchanging views on political, military and economic issues will strengthen both Turkey and Russian Federation.

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu on Monday said there would be no military assault on Syria's rebel province Idlib after Turkey and Russia agreed to create a demilitarized zone in the area.

Some three million people live in the area and the United Nations has warned that a full-scale regime assault could spark the century's worst humanitarian catastrophe.

Putin made the announcement Monday after meeting with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Retaking Idlib could spell victory for President Bashar al-Assad, but would also unleash a humanitarian disaster for the province's 3 million or more inhabitants.

"The Turkish and US serious pressures were the reason behind Russian Federation abstaining from the offensive and offering an air cover, which means Iran alone won't be able to carry out the offensive with the overstretched forces of the Assad regime", he said.

Translation: Our wish in Turkey and Russian Federation is to solve the Syrian crisis according to the UN Security Council resolution 2254.

Maher Ihsan, another analyst, said that the deal averted Idlib a wide-scale offensive and ensured that the rebels would not dare to attack Syrian military sites.

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He said the postponement of the military operation against the rebels in Idlib relies on "to what extent the worldwide community members could assist in the separation of moderate opposition from radicals in Idlib".

Ankara initially sent in its troops more than two years ago to push out the Islamic State group and Syrian Kurdish fighters. With Turkish backing, they are now gathered under "the National Front for Liberation".

"Assad and Russian Federation gave the choice to the global community: first we kill everybody".

Assad wants to recover "every inch" of Syria.

Danura stressed that the Syrian government will not accept to live with "terrorists" in Idlib, noting that the situation there can not move on like this for a long time.

For Russia, foreign fighters in Idlib are a big concern.

Why it matters to opposition?

Residents' fears have been heightened by Russian and Syria air strikes, artillery fire and barrel bombs that have killed dozens in Idlib province in the past month.

For its part, Russian Federation has cultivated closer ties with Assad's arch foe Erdogan, whose relationship with the United States has soured over a slew of disagreements.

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