Turkey and Russia could be on collision course over Idlib - Russian daily

As Turkey beefs up its positions in Syria’s rebel-held Idlib Governorate,  Russia-backed Damascus is looking to bring it back under its control, spelling trouble ahead for Ankara-Moscow relations, Russia’s Nezavisimaya Gazeta newspaper said.

Russia, Turkey and Iran failed to reach an agreement in Tehran on Syria, the paper pointed out. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan insists that Idlib hosts moderate opposition members and any operations there under the pretext of fighting Al-Nusra (terror group outlawed in Russia) are unacceptable.

 As Moscow is calling for separating militants from radicals, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is firm in his belief that Idlib hosts ‘’moderate opposition members and any operations there under the pretext of fighting Al-Nusra (a terror group outlawed in Russia) are unacceptable,’’ the daily said.

According to experts such as Kirill Semenov, the director of the Center of Islamic Research at the Institute of Innovative Development, a confrontation is imminent if Moscow, Damascus and Tehran embark on launching harsher steps against Idlib.

"If Turkey uses its aviation, it will have the upper hand in Syrian skies," the daily quoted Semenov as saying. The director stressed that Moscow is not seeking any escalation with Turkey and Russia will try to ‘’contain Damascus."

http://tass.com/pressreview/1020920