Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Monday that he expects a cease-fire deal in Syria’s northwestern province of Idlib during a planned meeting with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin.
“On Thursday, I will go to Moscow to discuss developments and steps to be taken in Syria,” the Turkish leader said during a meeting of his ruling Justice and Development Party in Ankara, semi-official Anadolu news agency reported.
“I hope that during our discussions, Putin will take the necessary measures there, such as a cease-fire, and we will be able to find a solution to this matter,” Erdogan pointed out.
His remarks came amid a sharp escalation of tension in Idlib where Turkey suffered severe casualties last week in an air raid, following which Ankara launched a major counter-offensive against the Russian-backed Syrian army which was trying to recapture the province since last December.
On Sunday, Turkey announced that it had launched “Operation Spring Shield,” a full-scale offensive against Syrian government forces.
“Turkey is not in Syria for oil or land, but to secure its borders,” Erdogan said.
The Syrian army’s offensive in Idlib has caused over 1 million displaced people to amass at the border with Turkey. The NATO country is already hosting some 3.7 million Syrians and said that it cannot take any more. Enditem