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Turkey, Russia discuss measures to defuse tensions in Syria's Idlib

Isaac

Feb. 17, 2020

Deputy Foreign Minister Ambassador Sedat Önal and his delegation met their Russian counterparts in Moscow late Monday. The parties discussed measures to defuse tensions in Syria's Idlib, a statement said.
"Our delegation underlined the need to defuse tensions on the field and to prevent the further worsening of the humanitarian situation," the statement from the Foreign Ministry added.
"All measures to fully implement to Sochi deal and to prevent violations have been discussed."
The ministry added that the talks would continue the next day.
The Sochi agreement was reached on Sept. 17 by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin.
According to the agreement, the cease-fire in the Idlib region would be preserved, with the withdrawal of heavy arms and radicals from the region.
Prior to the agreement, the Assad regime was signaling a huge operation on Idlib, which is the last stronghold of the opposition, sparking deep fears in the international community of a new humanitarian crisis.
Yet, the regime and its supporters have been violating the agreement.
Backed by heavy Russian airstrikes, the regime forces have been fighting since the start of the year to recapture the Aleppo countryside and parts of neighboring Idlib province where anti-Assad insurgents hold their last strongholds.
Regime airstrikes on Monday hit Darat Izza, near the Turkish border about 30 km (20 miles) north of Aleppo city, wounding several civilians and forcing two hospitals to close, according to hospital staff.
Witnesses also reported airstrikes in southern areas of Idlib province.
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