Russia says no Syria assault as Putin, Erdogan agree Idlib plan

Russia and Turkey agreed to create a demilitarised zone around the Syrian rebel-held Idlib province

Russia and Turkey agreed to create a demilitarised zone around the Syrian rebel-held Idlib province

Monday's meeting was Putin and Erdogan's second in 10 days as the Turkish leader presses Syria's main backer to forgo an attack on Idlib.

Since the beginning of September, dozens of people have been killed and injured in air raids and attacks by the Syrian government and Russian fighter jets, according to activists on the ground.

The demilitarised zone will be secured with the help of "mobile patrol groups of Turkish contingents and contingents of Russian military police", Putin said.

The email address you have provided is already registered.

Russian President Vladimir Putin hailed Monday's deal as a "serious result," adding that "Russia and Turkey have confirmed their determination to counter terrorism in Syria in all its forms".

"The rebels are our hope; Turks are our brothers; the terrorists are Bashar, Hezbollah and Russian Federation", read a banner carried by residents in the village of Kneiset Bani Omar, referring to Turkey which backs the opposition, and Lebanon's "Hezbollah" and Russian Federation that have joined the war along with Assad's forces.

Turkey, which shares a 560-mile border with Idlib province, worked to rally global support for a solution, saying that an assault would trigger a wave of refugees into Europe.

Jan Egeland, adviser to the United Nations envoy for Syria, Staffan de Mistura, said: "Hope at long last for 3 million Syrian civilians in Idlib: Russia and Turkey agree on plan that may avert horrific war among displaced people".

Putin added the sides agreed to "resume transit traffic along the Aleppo-Latakia and Aleppo-Hama highways by the end of 2018, also at the initiative of the Turkish side". With Turkish backing, they are now gathered under "the National Front for Liberation".

Turkey, which supports rebels opposed to Syrian President Bashar Assad, has been holding talks with his allies Russian Federation and Iran over the fate of Idlib and surrounding districts which Assad has vowed to recapture.

Pro-government al-Watan newspaper on Thursday cited Russian media report by Sputnik as saying that the Turkish side has offered clarification about the military reinforcement that entered Idlib over the past couple of days.

Putin said "radical militants" would have to withdraw from the zone.

There are other Islamists and groups fighting under the Free Syrian Army banner. According to United Nations Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura, Idlib now hosts about 10,000 militants from the Jabhat al-Nusra and Al-Qaeda terror groups (both outlawed in Russia).

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights war monitor has previously said that Turkey attempted to pressure the LLC to dissolve itself but to no avail.

Thousands of foreign fighters, from China, Europe and the Middle East, are the backbone of the militant groups.

Why it matters to Assad, Russia?

Rebels and anti-Assad civilian activists have poured into the region under surrender agreements that have granted them safe passage out of former insurgent areas.

Latest News