RPT: Syria In Dire Need Of Russia, Turkey Reaching Agreement On Idlib - Syrian Ambassador

MOSCOW (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 21st February, 2020) Syria needs for Russia and Turkey to establish a follow-up agreement on the Idlib de-escalation zone, in light of the recent developments in the embattled province and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's threat to launch a full-scale military operation in the region, Imad Moustapha, Syria's current ambassador to China and former ambassador to the United States, told Sputnik.

Earlier this week, a Turkish delegation arrived in Moscow for talks regarding the situation in Idlib in light of a grave escalation in the Syrian province in recent weeks. However, Ankara announced it was dissatisfied with the negotiations, and no deal was struck. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Wednesday that Turkey was fully ready for its own operation in Idlib and could launch it "any minute."

"There is an urgent need for Turkey and Russia to reach an agreement regarding Idlib. The Turkish threats to interfere militarily against the Syrian regular army in defense of the radical Jihadi terrorists comes as no surprise to any observer, for Turkey has been sponsoring and arming these groups for the past nine years," Moustapha said.

The ambassador added that the Syrian government was counting on Russia to help bring peace to the province.

"Russia, a friend and an ally of Syria, has a strategic interest in seeing the legitimate government of Syria restoring sovereignty, law and order in Idlib, as well as eliminating the most radical Jihadi groups, that are not only a threat to both countries but also to the whole of humanity," Moustapha stated.

In May 2017, Turkey, Russia and Iran, as the guarantors of the Syrian ceasefire, agreed during the talks in Nur-Sultan (formerly Astana) to create four de-escalation zones in Syria. In September of the following year, Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart held talks in Sochi devoted specifically to the Idlib de-escalation zone. They agreed to create a demilitarized buffer zone in the province, which meant that all heavy weaponry operated by rebel groups was to be pulled back, and radical militants including members of the Hayat Tahrir al-Sham terrorist group, previously known as the Nusra Front (banned in Russia) were to leave the zone.