Russia, Turkey remain committed to reducing Syria tensions

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov at a press conference in Colombo on January 14, 2020. (File photo: AFP)

Russia and Turkey on Tuesday reiterated their commitment to existing agreements on Syria’s Idlib which seek to reduce tensions in the region, the Russian Foreign Ministry said after a meeting in Moscow.

The ministry statement did not mention Turkey’s demand for Syrian government forces to pull back from the region, but said Idlib’s long-term security could only be achieved through Syria’s sovereignty and territorial independence.

In a related development, Turkey’s Presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin said on Tuesday that Ankara will deploy more troops to
Syria’s Idlib region.

“We will continue the deployment and fortification of troops in the area to ensure the safety of the region (Idlib) and the civilians there,” Kalin told reporters in Ankara.

On Sunday, Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad said his government was determined to win back all Syrian territories, as state media reported significant advances against the last opposition-held enclaves in the country’s northwest.

Nearly 300 civilians have been killed in attacks this year in northwest Syria, 93 percent of them caused by strikes by the Syrian government and its ally Russia, the top United Nations human rights official said on Tuesday.

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Last Update: 17:47 KSA 20:47 - GMT 17:47
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