Iran backs Turkish military presence in Idlib - Russian Foreign Minister

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Monday said Iran supports Turkey's military presence in Idlib, in an interview with Russian government-owned news site Sputnik.

"The presence of the Turkish military in this part of Syria is coordinated with the SAR (Syrian Arab Republic) government, which welcomed the aforementioned Sochi Memorandum. It was supported by the third guarantor of the Astana format, Iran," Lavrov said.

Russia, Turkey and Iran, as self-appointed guarantors of the Syrian peace process, have been holding talks on Syria in the Kazakh capital, Astana.

On Sep. 7, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Russian President Vladimir Putin and their Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani, met in Tehran for a summit of key foreign players in Syria’s war. The trio agreed that there could be no military solution to the conflict, which will only end through a negotiated political process.

Following the agreement, Turkey reinforced its military posts inside Syria’s Idlib.

"The achievement of the Russia-Turkey agreement on Idlib, enshrined in the Memorandum that was signed in Sochi on September 17, was made possible due to previous decisions taken in the framework of the Astana process on the creation of a de-escalation zone in this part of Syria with Turkish observation posts along its internal perimeter — and Russian and Iranian over the outer perimeter," Lavrov said.

The deputy for Arab-African Affairs of Iran, Hossein Jaberi Ansari, said to PressTV on Oct. 10 that the Idlib deal was based on Iran’s idea.

"The Sochi framework and all of its major concepts were Iran's ideas," Ansari said.