Erdogan, Putin discuss Afrin operation, Idlib on phone

Tue 20 Feb 2018 02:14 GMT | 06:14 Local Time

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Turkish, Russian leaders agree to continue cooperation, coordination in fight against terrorism.

Turkish and Russian presidents on Monday discussed Turkey’s ongoing operation in northwest Syria and the establishment of new observation points in Idlib, Turkish presidential sources said, according to Anadolu Agency.

Speaking over the phone, Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin agreed to continue cooperation and coordination in the fight against terrorism.

The two leaders discussed the latest developments in Afrin and the process of establishing new observation points in the de-escalation zone in Idlib. 

Turkey on Jan. 20 launched Operation Olive Branch to remove YPG/PKK-Daesh terrorists from Afrin, northwestern Syria, along Turkey's border. 

According to the Turkish General Staff, the operation aims to establish security and stability along Turkey’s borders and the region as well as protect Syrians from oppression and cruelty of YPG/PKK-Daesh terrorists. 

A new observation point is to be established 70 kilometers (43 miles) from the Turkey-Syria border. 

Assad regime army elements and Iran-backed groups are around 10 kilometers (6.2 miles) from the deployment point. 

On Oct. 12, 2017, the Turkish military started to cross into the region to establish observation points to monitor the cease-fire regime in the Idlib de-escalation zone. 

Under the Astana, Kazakhstan agreement, Turkey is set to gradually establish 12 observation points, from Idlib's north to south. 

Idlib, located in northwestern Syria on the Turkish border, has faced intense attacks by the Assad regime after a vicious civil war broke out in 2011.

Since March 2015, Idlib is no longer under the control of the Assad regime and has been overrun by military opposition groups and anti-regime armed organizations.

Two leaders also emphasized the close contact on bilateral and regional issues.

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