Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu has called for an immediate ceasefire in Syria’s Idlib, adding that the talks between Russia and Turkey on the current situation in Idlib are set to take place on Monday.
"The ceasefire in Idlib must be introduced immediately," the minister said during a press conference in Ankara, quoted by Anadolu agency. He added that the agreement between Russia and Turkey on Idlib had not been signed yet. "If an agreement had been reached, there would be no need for today’s meeting [with the Russian delegation on Idlib]," he noted.
Earlier, the Russian Foreign Ministry noted a rise in tensions in the Idlib de-escalation zone in the past few weeks. The Russian and Turkish military made another attempt to establish a ceasefire, however, terrorist attacks persisted. As a result, military specialists from Russia and Turkey were killed, TASS reports.
On February 5, Syrian government forces entered the town of Saraqib, an outpost of the Jabhat al-Nusra terrorist group (banned in Russia) in the Idlib province. Saraqib is a town of strategic importance that sits at the junction of two main roads connecting Latakia and Damascus with Aleppo.
Idlib is the only Syrian region that has been controlled by illegal armed groups since 2012. A northern de-escalation zone was set up in Idlib in 2017 to give shelter to militants who refused to surrender arms in Eastern Ghouta and Syria’s southern regions. The Turkish army has 12 observation outposts in the province.