TURKEY – Turkish Foreign Minister Mouloud Zhaoshoglu said on Tuesday there were no differences between Turkey and Russia over Ankara’s ground and air attack on the northern region of Afrin, adding the two countries were in close contact on the process.
Two weeks ago, Turkey launched Operation Olive Branch to target the Kurdish people’s protection units in Afrin, opening a new front in the seven-year-old Syrian civil war. Russia is the main backer of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
“We have no disagreements with Russia,” Zhaooshoglu said in an interview with TGRT News in response to a question about possible tensions with Moscow over Afrin. We continue our contacts with Russia.
“We must notify each other in a timely manner, especially the air strikes and developments in the field. We contact them in real time or in advance. ”
He also said that Turkish forces had completed the construction of a sixth checkpoint in the Syrian province of Idlib.
Under an agreement reached with Tehran and Moscow in an effort to curb fighting between pro-government forces and mainly Islamist opposition groups in northwestern Syria, Turkey agreed to build 12 observation posts in Idlib and neighboring provinces.
But the “no-escalation” agreement, which was supposed to have been monitored, stopped. In December, the Syrian army, with the help of Iranian-backed factions and a large Russian air force, launched a major offensive to control areas in Idlib province.