Russia accuses Turkey of failing on Syria’s Idlib

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Russia accused Turkey on Wednesday of failing to meet its obligations under a pact to create a demilitarised zone in Syria’s Idlib province and of helping opposition forces instead.

The RIA news agency quoted a Russian defense ministry spokesman as saying “terrorist” fortifications had merged with Turkish outposts in Idlib, resulting in daily attacks on Russia’s Hmeimim air base in Syria.

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Turkey had amassed troop numbers in Idlib equal to a mechanised division, violating international law, the Russian spokesman said.

Turkish military spokesmen were not immediately available for comment.

The Russian accusation came on the eve of a Thursday meeting in Moscow between President Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey and his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin.

They are expected to try to de-escalate tensions that have brought Turkey and Russia dangerously close to direct military confrontation.

Syria map from MSF (MSF)
Syria map from MSF (MSF)
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