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Sep 08 2018

Turkey working intensively with Russia, Iran over Idlib, says Turkish FM

The Turkish Foreign Minister on Saturday said Ankara was working with Moscow and Tehran toward ending conflict in Syria’s rebel-held northwestern Idlib, Russian Sputnik news reported.

Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu’s comments during a regional meeting of the Justice and Development Party (AKP) in the southern province of Antalya arrived as Russian and Syrian warplanes pounded Idlib, a day after a summit of the presidents of Turkey, Iran and Russia, where the sides failed to agree on a ceasefire that would prevent a Russian-backed offensive.

"The clashes will end and we will once again going to focus on the political process,’’ Çavuşoğlu said. ‘’We are involved in intensive efforts with the Russians and Iranians. Our efforts are not limited to summit which took place in Tehran yesterday [Friday].’’

The focus of Friday’s summit was a looming military operation in Idlib, which remains the last major stronghold of active opposition in Syria to the rule of President Bashar al-Assad. While Ankara has pushed for a ceasefire in the region, Moscow maintained it would be pointless as it would not involve militant groups designated as terrorists Assad and his allies.