Erdogan accuses Damascus of undermining the Turkish-Russian agreement in Syria

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UNITED STATES (VOP TODAY NEWS) — Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan accused the Syrian regime of seeking to “undermine” Turkish-Russian cooperation in Syria during a telephone conversation with Russian President Vladimir Putin, the Turkish presidency said.

The head of the media in the presidency, Fakhruddin Alton, said Erdogan assured Putin during the call on Monday night that the Syrian regime “seeks to undermine the Turkish-Russian cooperation in Idlib and the noble spirit of the Astana agreement.”

Since the end of last month, the region has been under heavy Syrian and Russian bombardment, although the area is covered by a Russian-Turkish agreement reached last year in Sochi that provided for the establishment of a “demilitarized zone” separating areas controlled by regime forces and factions.

The Astana talks, which took place early in the capital of Kazakhstan, recently named “Sultan,” have gradually overshadowed the path of UN-sponsored negotiations in Geneva between representatives of the Syrian government and the opposition after failing to make progress towards settling the conflict, A thousand dead since 2011.

The agreement succeeded in establishing a relative lull until the forces of the regime and then its ally Russia began bombing it starting in February.

“Attacking civilians, schools and hospitals can not be considered as fighting against terrorism,” Erdogan told Putin during the call.

He considered that the current military escalation would “harm the objectives pursued by” Ankara and Moscow in the context of the Sochi agreement, which then surrounded the region was an imminent attack on the regime on Idlib and its surroundings.

The Sham Liberation Organization controls with other jihadist factions the governorate of Idlib and the countryside of Western Aleppo, Hama Al Shamali and Lattakia in the northeast. The region has been under heavy Syrian and Russian bombardment since the end of last month, although the area is covered by a Russian-Turkish agreement reached last year.

Turkey on Friday called for an end to the Syrian regime’s attacks on Idlib, accusing Damascus of seeking to expand its control over the southern province and breaking the Astana agreement.

“We expect Russia to take effective and decisive measures to ensure that the regime’s forces stop its attacks on southern Idlib and withdraw immediately to the agreed border on the Astana route,” Turkish Defense Minister Khulosi Akar said.

However, Erdogan did not mention the Russian role in the bombing, according to Alton reported his call.


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