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Russia, Iran, Turkey to Discuss Syria's Idlib at Monday Summit

Russia, Iran, Turkey to Discuss Syria's Idlib at Monday Summit

Friday, 13 September, 2019 - 18:00
Presidents Hassan Rouhani of Iran, Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey and Vladimir Putin of Russia before their meeting in Ankara, April 4, 2018. (Reuters)

The leaders of Russia, Turkey and Iran will discuss the difficult situation in Syria’s Idlib province when they meet in Ankara early next week for a summit, Yuri Ushakov, a senior Kremlin aide, said on Friday.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani are due to hold talks on Syria in Ankara on Monday.

Russia has asked Iran to refrain from any action that could jeopardize saving its troubled nuclear pact after Washington pulled out if it, Ushakov added.

Idlib, in Syria’s northwest corner, is the last big chunk of territory still in opposition hands after more than eight years of civil war.

Air strikes pounded Idlib on Thursday despite a ceasefire that had halted a fierce regime offensive against the stronghold two weeks ago.

Idlib enjoyed a lull in air strikes after Damascus and its ally Moscow declared a ceasefire on August 31 following five months of bombing which the United Nations says killed hundreds of people.

This was the second such truce announced there in a month. A ceasefire in early August collapsed within three days, after which the Russian-backed regime Bashar Assad pressed its offensive and gained ground.

Turkey, which supports some opposition factions, brokered a “de-escalation” deal with Russia in 2017 that sought to curb fighting in Idlib. It does not cover extremist groups.

The opposition said on Wednesday that pro-regime forces were massing on the front line.

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