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Kremlin Welcomes ‘Victory on Terror’ in Khan Sheikhoun

Kremlin Welcomes ‘Victory on Terror’ in Khan Sheikhoun

Friday, 23 August, 2019 - 05:15
Syrian civilians flee on August 22, 2019 a conflict zone in Syria's Idlib. Omar HAJ KADOUR / AFP
Moscow - Raed Jabr

The Kremlin has welcomed the results of a military operation in the strategic Syrian town of Khan Sheikhoun in the northwestern province of Idlib, considering it a “new and important victory on terrorists.”

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Thursday that Russia welcomes the Syrian army’s control of Khan Sheikhoun.

The town’s “liberation from terrorists can only be welcomed,” he said.

According to the spokesman, Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, could have a phone call in "the coming days” to discuss the developments in Idlib.

His comments came as Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said that Moscow is continuing to collaborate with Turkey on Syria.

She stated that adhering to the Russia-Turkey deal on Idlib, the last opposition-held enclave in Syria, was important.

"It is important to stick to the articles of these agreements that are intended to continue the fight against terrorists and to ensure the safety of the civilian population," she added.

Last September, Turkey and Russia agreed to establish a demilitarized zone in Idlib, with Turkey setting up 12 observation posts and assuming the responsibility of removing opposition fighters.

But there have been reports in the past few days that differences between Moscow and Ankara on the situation in Idlib have increased, mainly after the Syrian army recaptured Khan Sheikhoun, which falls in the agreed demilitarized zone.

Russian sources told Asharq Al-Awsat on Wednesday that Russia looks forward to reaching agreements with Turkey in introducing changes to areas of control in northwestern Syria while taking into consideration the latest developments in the battlefield.

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