Syrian Army in Idlib Fights Terrorism on Its Territory: Kremlin
Story Code : 846356
He noted that Russian and Turkish militaries are actively cooperating in resolving the tense situation in Syrian Idlib that arose due to intensified terrorist attacks, Tass reported on Sunday.
"Naturally, the offensive actions of the terrorists could not remain unanswered. The Syrian military, being in their own country, on their territory, naturally responded. This all led to extreme tension. Thank God, both our militaries, Russian and Turkish are in constant contact, and, as we see, if necessary, the presidents join in the discussions of this topic," he said.
The situation in Idlib deteriorated dramatically after the Russian and Turkish taskforces had made another attempt to enforce a ceasefire. Terrorists only intensified their attacks instead, killing Russian and Turkish military specialists. The Syrian government army took retaliatory actions against extremists and gained control of the city of Saraqib near Idlib on February 5.
On the morning of February 11, the Turkey-backed Syrian opposition launched mass-scale attacks on the Syrian government army on two fronts - the town of Saraqib and the community of Nayrab situated to the north of Saraqib in Idlib. The opposition’s offensive was carried out with the fire support from the Turkish artillery. Jabhat al-Nusra (a terrorist organization outlawed in Russia) militants took an active part in the fighting. Syrian forces repelled these attacks, while militants suffered heavy losses, with many killed and wounded.
On September 17, 2018, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan at their meeting in Sochi agreed to create a 15-20 kilometer-wide demilitarized zone along the line of contact in the Idlib province by October 15, 2018. However, at the time Ankara asked to have extra time and to postpone the start of joint patrolling in Idlib due to the inability to guarantee security on their part.