Russia and Iran must stop Assad regime – Turkish FM

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said Russia and Iran must stop Syrian President Bashar Assad’s forces moving into the northwestern province of Idlib, where Turkish monitoring forces are based, pro-government Türkiye newspaper said.

“In Idlib, civilians and moderate opposition are being targeted,” Çavuşoğlu, said on Tuesday. “Russia and Iran must stop the Assad regime.”

Turkey has begun sending a fourth armed contingent to Idlib to ensure that peace was kept in the city in accordance with its agreement with Russia and Iran made at the Russian resort of Sochi in November last year, Çavuşoğlu said.

Çavuşoğlu also said Turkey would not sit around the same table as the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), a majority-Kurdish armed group that controls a large swathe of northern and northeastern Syria, at peace talks in Sochi this month.

“We have communicated that terrorist groups must not be invited to Sochi,” he said. “Terrorist groups being at Sochi will sabotage the (peace) process.”

Çavuşoğlu also announced that he would be visiting Baghdad later this month.