Photo released by Turkish Defense Ministry shows Turkish army launches a military operation into northern Syria on the Turkey-Syria border, on Oct. 9, 2019. Turkish Armed Forces on late Wednesday began a land operation into northern Syria against the Syrian Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG). (Xinhua)
Photo released by Turkish Defense Ministry shows Turkish army launches a military operation into northern Syria on the Turkey-Syria border, on Oct. 9, 2019. Turkish Armed Forces on late Wednesday began a land operation into northern Syria against the Syrian Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG). (Xinhua)

The Russian Defense Ministry on Wednesday criticized Turkey for allegedly violating an agreement reached with Russia on the Idlib de-escalation zone in northwest Syria.

Ankara’s obligation, a key point of the agreement reached in Sochi in September 2018, was to oust terrorists from the external borders of the de-escalation zone to a depth of 15-20 km and withdraw heavy weapons from the area, the ministry’s spokesman Igor Konashenkov said.

Almost 18 months after the Sochi agreement was made, UN-recognized terrorist groups have forced out all militants of the “moderate opposition” to the Turkish border in the north, Konashenkov said in a statement.

“The fortified areas of the terrorists merged with the Turkish observation posts set up in accordance with the agreement,” he added.

The criticism of the Russian military came a day before talks between Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Moscow on the heightened tensions in Idlib. Enditem

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