Ankara expects Russia to step up for stability in Idlib's de-escalation zone

Read: 1703     10:21     15 June 2019    

Wih the humanitarian tragedy caused by the Syrian regime attacks worsening, Ankara expects Russia to fulfill its responsibility to ensure peace and stability in Idlib's de-escalation zone, Turkish media reports.

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said Friday that Turkey will not remain silent if the Syrian regime continues to attack observation points in Idlib. Underlining the importance of Turkey's approach in the region in terms of reaching peace, Erdoğan said that the country will do whatever it takes to stop civilian casualties in Idlib.

Before Erdoğan's remarks, Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said on Friday that they were "working with Russia on the cease-fire." In an interview with Anadolu Agency in the capital Ankara, Cavuşoğlu said, "Russia needs to fulfill its responsibility here."

Likewise, Eurasia analyst and journalist Eşref Yalınkılıçlı said Turkey expects Russia to take responsibility to provide stability and peace in Idlib's de-escalation zone in the wake of the Assad regime's indiscriminate attacks on civilians and residential areas. Speaking to Daily Sabah, Yalınkılıçlı said the Russian side, on the other hand, claims Turkey could not prevent Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) militants from increasing their presence and efficiency in the region and this gave the regime a pretext to intervene. He added that the ongoing situation in Idlib creates tension between the two countries.

Using the term "controlled tension," Yalınkılıçlı said the two countries had different expectations in the issue of Idlib and this creates a conflict on interests. However, the two countries have always maintained diplomatic channels open to overcome problems in cooperation.

Salih Yılmaz, the chairman of the Russian Research Institute at Yıldırım Beyazıt University, told Daily Sabah that Turkey fulfilled its obligations coming from Astana and Sochi agreements; however, the regime has violated the agreements.

The Sochi agreement was reached last September between Ankara and Moscow, envisaging the preservation of the cease-fire in Idlib, with the withdrawal of heavy arms and radicals from the region.

Following eight months of calm provided by the Sochi deal, the regime has started to intensify its attacks since April 26 under the pretext of fighting HTS militants holed up in Idlib. The intermittent attacks and bombardments have killed, wounded and displaced many civilians.

Residential areas have been destroyed by indiscriminate attacks, while numerous educational and health facilities, as well as residential buildings, have either collapsed or become unusable after being targeted by bombs.


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