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Turkish-Russian Talks On Idlib. Another Ceasefire?

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Turkish-Russian Talks On Idlib. Another Ceasefire?

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On February 17th, a Turkish delegation, chaired by Deputy Foreign Minister Ambassador Sedat Önal, is to meet with a Russian delegation met in Moscow to address the situation in the demilitarized zone of Idlib, Syria.

During the meeting, which is closed to the press at the building of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Turkish and Russian delegations included diplomats, as well as military officials and intelligence officials.

Prior to the meeting, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu gave an interview to Russian outlet Izvestia, and he made evaluations about the recent developments in Idlib.

“Much work remains to be done; we continue to actively cooperate with Russia on these issues. You’ll find out the final answer on Monday, after the meeting of our delegations in Moscow <…> We should not allow the Syrian problem to downplay our cooperation and affect our relations,” Cavusoglu said.

The diplomat stressed that following the upcoming meeting in the Russian capital, it remains to be seen whether Russia and Turkey need another meeting.

Cavusoglu’s statement came amid February 15th’s threats by the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s threats against Damascus.

According to him, if the Syrian Arab Army does not withdraw its troops beyond the borders defined in the Sochi agreement, “we will do this work without waiting for the end of February,” Erdogan vowed.

After the Syrian army drove to Saraqib and reached the strategically important M4 – M5 routes (Aleppo – Latakia, Aleppo – Damascus), Erdogan urged Damascus to stop the offensive and withdraw troops from Turkish observation posts by the end of February. Otherwise, Ankara will respond by force.

Cavusoglu said that after the meeting on February 17th it would become clear if Erdogan and Russian President Vladimir Putin needed to meet once more and discuss the situation and further moves.

In 2020, Putin and Erdogan have met twice – once on January 7th in Istanbul when TurkStream was launched and once on January 19th during the conference on Libya.

It is still unknown when and where the next summit of the Astana troika will take place, spokesman for the Turkish Foreign Ministry Hami Aksoy said. Earlier, Erdogan hinted that this meeting could be held in March.

Meanwhile, Ankara sent another convoy with heavy weapons to Syrian Idlib, Anadolu Agency reported.

According to military sources, 150 trucks loaded with self-propelled howitzers, battle tanks and armored personnel carriers arrived in the Reyhanli region of the Turkish province of Hatay on the border with Syria for further transfer to the observation posts area in the Idlib de-escalation zone.

On February 15th, Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu told Russian Foreign Ministry Sergey Lavrov that attacks in Syria’s northwestern Idlib region must stop immediately and that a lasting ceasefire has to be achieved.

“I have met with Sergey Lavrov and said the aggression in Idlib should stop,” Mevlut Cavusoglu told reporters after the 56th Munich Security Conference.

Turkey attempts to present it as a humanitarian crisis, entirely denying that Idlib is filled with al-Qaeda-affiliated militants, and even goes so far as to advertise their presumed “success” in killing Syrian personnel.

After the meeting with Cavusoglu, the Russian foreign minister told the Munich conference that parts of Idlib remain “one of the last hotbeds of terrorism, at least the only one on the west bank of the Euphrates.”

Lavrov said that agreements between Moscow and Ankara “imply both a cease-fire and a demilitarized zone, but most importantly drawing a line between the normal opposition and terrorists.”

“These agreements do not mean the hard fighting against the terrorist the threat will stop,” he said.

“The Russian side will have in-depth substantive negotiations. And we hope, of course, that they will also be productive,” Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov told Izvestia.

Meanwhile, an unnamed NATO source told Russian news agency TASS that if Turkey began a military operation in Idlib against the Syrian Arab Army it would not receive military support from NATO.

“NATO countries will not support the activation of Article 5 due to the death of the Turkish military in Idlib in early February,” he stressed. “NATO is not considering the possibility of providing military assistance to Turkey in the event of an operation in this region.”

“The death of Turkish military personnel in Idlib is a tragic fact, but this happened during a unilateral military operation on foreign territory, it goes beyond the interpretation of Article 5. The Turkish side also understands this, so it did not try to initiate consultations in NATO on this topic,” explained the unnamed diplomatic source.

Regarding the possibility of Ankara launching a military operation in Idlib, the purpose of which could be an attempt to stop the Syrian army’s advance and keep part of the Syrian province under the control of illegal armed groups, he noted that Turkey, as a member of NATO, “enjoys the general political support of the alliance,” but military support measures are out of the question.

“Not all European NATO states share Turkey’s goals in Syria, not to mention the situation in neighboring countries (such as Libya). At the last meeting of NATO defense ministers [February 12-13th], the question of military support [of Turkey] was not raised,” he added.

Meanwhile, the Syrian Arab Army is making significant gains, as it liberated the entire western countryside of Aleppo city from Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (formerly the Syrian branch of al-Qaeda) and other Turkish-backed militant groups.

People celebrated on the streets.

Thus, the operations are continuing and only time will tell what Russia and Turkey will agree in the talks in Moscow.

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  • AJ

    Not this again, ceasefires always fail.

    • Issam

      I never understood why there is a ceasefire in the first place, some of them came into Syria from all over the world to fight till death and the rest want to fight the government till death as well.

      • good american

        I imagine resupply and reorganizing is needed.

        • Lee Vanderheiden

          Too late. The momentum is increasing. The SAA taste victory and they will not stop now until all the terrorists are either killed or fleeing to Turkey.

      • Fleecing Rabbi

        putin the putz got his marching orders from trump…….yes sir four bags full…..

        • John

          lol …… baloney.

      • Zionism = EVIL

        I have a sneaking suspicion that the midget Putin will sell out Syria again and kiss Erdogan’s arse. No wonder the Russian military is so frustrated as this terror war will never end.

  • Samuel Vanguard

    Turkey hides behind these ceasefires,it wants to send more troops and military hardware to Syria in Preparation of a war with SAA. Erdogan is cleverly using these “ceasefires” so as to have a bigger foothold in Syria.

    • Rafik Chauhan

      but Ceasfire also help sometime SAA to arrange and dig in more to Fight for another day. and also Ceasrfire is an excuse for Russia and Syria bcuz terriost will not abide with that and will attack SAA and then Russia will not tolerate and attack them which will be last ceasfire in idlib

      • Z.P.

        Nice try!
        But USELESS!
        They don’t want to hear that !
        All they want is that once Assad’s SAA is stopped by Turks… that Russia jumps in and wins the war for their beloved Assad!

        • javier

          shut up you idiot

          • Z.P.

            Another Western NATO shithead, “fighter for the justice”?
            Your lousy bankrupted Spain is just another US stooge country helping terrorist Anglo-Saxon Empire to dominate the world.
            You NATO cowards are only good in ganging up and bombing defenseless countries like Yugoslavia, Libya and similar.
            But deep down you are stinking Western cowards !
            And you,yourself are big mouthed keyboard asshole warrior.
            How could possibly Assad lose with all your “fighting” for him?

      • FlorianGeyer

        Spot on.

    • Z.P.

      “Erdogan is cleverly using these “ceasefires” so as to have a bigger foothold in Syria.”

      So how do you explain that FACTS on the ground contradict your conclusion?*

      WHERE was “foothold in Syria” GROWING “bigger” after “ceasefires”?!?

    • FlorianGeyer

      I would not say that Erdo is ‘clever’ he is treacherous and conniving rather like Trump, rather like a rattlesnake.

      Russian snake charmers are in Idlib, so the snake is well advised to slither away and to rattle to another victim in Libya instead.

    • John

      Hello Samuel. Despite the ceasefires, it doesn’t look like Turkey has a bigger foothold now. They are getting their troops killed and tons of equipment wrecked. Then there is the embarrassment of most of their OPs being surrounded now, by the people they tried to destroy. Kind of embarrassing. This latest push by the SAA and Co., has proved the ceasefires mean nothing, especially as to how things will end, with Syria free from all of these fools. My take. I wish well to you.

  • Raptar Driver

    The Russians under Putin the meek are getting nowhere with this nonsense.
    Crush your enemy when it is down and finish this rotten business!

    • Issam

      Why is Putin a meek ?

      • Raptar Driver

        Humble and obedient to his interests, which is to hold on to power, the only reason politicians exist.

    • Z.P.

      Why don’t you as an American from US don’t come to Syria to defend Syrian people from terrorists?
      That would be very noble thing to do…since your country (U.S.) is TERRORIST COUNTRY…
      That would wash your responsibility as an American little bit huh?
      Or you prefer Russian’s to die for you?
      So Russian’s must die to make right what your terrorist country have made wrong?
      Is that it?

  • Jim Bim

    Hopefully not a new ceasefire, Idlib needs to be cleaned for terrorists and Turks.

  • Z.P.

    I would LOVE that Assad doesn’t listen to Russia and rejects ceasefires so that Russia can wash their hands from any obligations to Syria!

    Too many people hope to fight their enemies (Turks,IsraHell,NATO) to the last Russian.
    Time for Syria to take her own destiny in their own hands and defend their own country with their own soldiers and weapons.

    • Free man

      “Time for Syria to take her own destiny in their own hands and defend their own country with their own soldiers and weapons.” – they can’t. There is no alternative to Russian help.
      Soon the war will end and Russia can begin rebuilding Syria.

      • Z.P.

        OK explain how?
        HOW can Russia help against Turkey without direct conflict,a total war against Turkey?!
        That is definitely not in Russia interest on any level !
        Why would Russia do that?
        Why would they risque a conflict with Turks and NATO?
        And why Iran can’t help instead, why Russia always?

        • jade villaceran

          Turks wont escalate direct war with Russia, thats the last thing erdo will do

          • Z.P.

            Really?
            Based on what?
            Desperate man do desperate things….it’s not if Erdogan is going to send his sons to fight…
            He will have 100% SUPPORT of Turk population if Assad attacks Turk troops and kills them …you know that don’t you ..
            So what makes you so sure about anything?

          • CHAOS

            Assad cannot take action without permission from Russia.If Russia wanted to end relations with Turkey,previously would have done.
            None of this happens on the field, even if they look aggressive at the table.

            Aircraft and ambassador crises are examples of this.

          • Z.P.

            It is sad state of affairs that satanist speaks more common sense than half of the geopolitical clowns here…
            What kind of satanist are you?!

          • FlorianGeyer

            You already posted this nonsensical comment on another thread today.

          • CHAOS

            My comment was made on the comments. You can measure it using your mind, not your silly comment.

          • FlorianGeyer

            You make no sense. Is it deliberate of foolishness?

            Many hasbara trolls here comment in ways that you do.

            Goodbye.

          • CHAOS

            Bye bye good nights

          • Fleecing Rabbi

            meshuggenah putin di putz ken nisht vishn zeyn tokhes on aundzer orders, shalom aun a gutn tog khlumus.

          • jade villaceran

            because that will be the fall of turkey, he wont bring the war into his country and its bullsh*t that 100% of turks will support that idea, maybe some 15-20% radical turks but not civilized turks

          • Z.P.

            you have lost me on ” radical turks…..civilized turks”…

            Trust me I haven’t got clue on Turkey as country.
            But still I am 100% sure that Turks will give 100% support for war against Assad.
            If Assad’s SAA attacks Turk army and kills their soldiers.
            In that I am more than sure!
            And I think that Russia should stay clear and far away from getting involved in such war!

          • jade villaceran

            if russia leave syria alone in this fight, next fight will be in the doorstep of russia starting in caucasus all the way to moscow using suicide bomber

          • Z.P.

            ” next fight will be in the doorstep”
            Congratulations!
            With those exact words….you are quoting that Christina fundamentalist and lunatic Mike Pompeo!

            Russia can’t kill every bleeding Jew sponsored would be “Jihad” terrorist…
            If that was their objective they might as well immediately go back home.

            ONLY Russian objective is to clear up Idlib…that’s all.

        • Free man

          1. As I wrote before, the Turks are interested in a new agreement. I don’t think they’re interested in war. Especially against Russia.
          2. Iranians don’t have the air force to help Syria. And they don’t have the deterrent power Russia has against Turkey.
          3. The war against the jihadists seems to be coming to its end. Russia has already done most of the heavy lifting.

          • CHAOS

            I hope the war ends soon.

          • Z.P.

            Satanist “CHAOS” roots for “PEACE”

            what insane world we are living in…

          • FlorianGeyer

            In a complete liberation of ALL Syrian lands lost since 2011.

          • Zionism = EVIL

            Unfortunately it won’t as long as Putin keeps on kissing Americunt, Zionist and Turkeys arse.

          • Z.P.

            1. I don’t know that and I don’t know how you know that?
            2. Iranians don’t have the air force but they have bragged so much about their new air defenses “Bavar” (as good as S-400 they like to claim)
            With new Iranian air defenses it would be possible to expand “non fly zone”to all of Syria ! That would be the end for US and everybody else automatically!
            3.You are the 1st. person to say that Russia has done “heavy lifting”.
            And I am very glad to hear that!
            Majority hardly thinks that they did anything at all. And even those who admit that Russia has done something are never pleased with Russia.
            It is NEVER enough for them.

          • Free man

            1. This is my opinion, based on past experience.
            2. SAA started winning only after the Russian Air Force started helping it. Iranians are very strong in talking and bragging.
            3. “..those who admit that Russia has done something are never pleased with Russia.
            It is NEVER enough for them.” – You’re right.

  • Free man

    Putin seems to have exposed Erdogan’s bluff.
    Erdogan threatened as usual and the SAA conquered jihadist territory as usual.
    If Erdogan will no hurry, there will be no more jihadists to do firecrack for .

  • Z.P.

    The one and only important question is;
    WHAT is going to happen after all terrorists in Idlib are exterminated?
    How will conflict proceed?
    If anybody has that answer I would love to hear it.

    • Free man

      Syria is a broken country, and it will remain that way for a long time.
      It will not be easy to “remove” Turkey from the north of Syria and the US from eastern and southern Syria. And a long campaign against a jihadist guerrilla war is expected.
      But in any case, in my opinion Russia is the only hope for the rebuilding of Syria. Only Russia has a chance of overcoming all the internal disagreements/conflicts (between Assad supporters) that will emerge in full strength after the main battles are over.

      • geopolitica

        Syria is less broken than irak or lybia because administration is still their the country look to be more stable politcly than lebanon or irak for exemple so it’s a good place for investment from china and other country

        • Free man

          Uncertainty is the biggest enemy of investments. And Russia has the ability to reduce the uncertainty in Syria.
          As I have already written, Russia is Syria’s only hope.

    • Josiah Isaboke

      Peace will return to Syria and all will go back to normal…Even Lebanon went through a 25 year old civil war and finally all the guns did go silent

      • Z.P.

        Wise words.
        I don’t know how old are you but for the moment you sound “‘old” and wise.

        • Josiah Isaboke

          I’m old enough to know someone want to buy time and doesn’t want Syria to have peace because maybe they are benefiting from the war…Remember the 100s and 100s of Lorries transporting stolen oil through to Turkey and off to the west? Israel has already cut a chunk of the Golan heights for itself…It does NOT want this war to end at all because the world will focus on another land grab! As thing stand they want this to go on for another 200 years…Turkey wants the land the Kurds own which is rich of oil and gas and really want to make that part of Syria their own. These 2 players have an agenda and NEVER forgetting the Americans who are not even pretending anymore(THEY ARE LITERALLY STEALING THE OIL AND GIVING THE WORLD A MIDDLE FINGER) which is why real Syrians should never let a part of their land be cut off. Countries fought for independence and people lost their lives for that to be achieved…Syrians should see this a fight for a second Independence day! It won’t be easy but it’s for their own survival. Another ceasefire means jihadis rearm and the war goes on for another 10 years and more

          • Z.P.

            Everything was nice except ending….
            You sound like majority here….unfortunately
            So you have “sounded” ,wise but you are most definitely not wise.
            Just average Joe…as they say.
            If you also want Russia to fight Syrian war for “liberation” from US and (Kurds?) and Turks and rest of the terrorist scum than grab your AK-47 and go!

      • Zionism = EVIL

        Thanks largely to the absolute political and military supremacy of Hezbollah and Shia demographic dominance.

      • Mustafa Mehmet

        Can kick off again soon don’t be so sure

  • Louis IX

    It’s ok, meeting over, nothing agreed :)

    • Ronald

      Viva Syria liberte

  • gustavo

    Syria must stop any Turkey military convoy heading to Turkish observation points by none excuse, even Russia-Turkey agreement.

  • gustavo

    Turkey has not right at all to be in Syria, and this must be understood mainly by Putin. TurkStream can be well be sent to hell.

  • Josiah Isaboke

    Syria should never agree…NEVER! Turkey is an occupation force and if Russia was to agree i will cease to have respect on them. IT’S TIME TO END THIS WAR AND THE SAA HAS THE MORALE AND CAPACITY TO END IT EVEN A MONTH’S TIME! If the Russians and the Turks want to talk let them talk but let the Syrian soldiers who are dying for the honour of their country do the fighting…PERIOD!

  • Rafik Chauhan

    Erdogon is dumb by sending large amount of weopeons and soldier he is going to massacre Turish soldier . bcuz they don’t have air support and Russia will not allow this. Syrian ariforce will burn them. Turkish force should think that listning to Erdogon and going in another country to help terriost and die . SAA is not invading or attacking turkey soldier in turkey. Syrian goverment doesn’t want that. Turkish soldier should Rise and tell Erdogon. this is not turkey land.

  • AleK

    Threat of large-scale turkish intervention is real, but for the SAA it’s now or never – liberate Idblib and end the war.

  • verner

    putin needs to hammer it into erdogans head, that idlib is not in turkey’s future and he will have to find relief somewhere else and once there he should plan with iran how to get rid of the squatters once and for all and that is the one and only relevant issue at this stage.

  • Douglas Houck

    Russia has turned down Turkey’s request for a cease fire and the SAA is currently going after the M4 highway. See AMN news

  • Dick Von Dast’Ard

    Russia, Turkey, Iran, Iraq, Syria and Lebanon can create a security structure far stronger than that of the selfish, callous exploitation Washington DC offers.

    All parties surely understand that basic truism by now.

  • jm74

    I find this action from Russia to be disrespectful; that decision is to be made by Syria and not between Erdogan and Putin. Understandably Russia is assisting Syria in fighting the terrorists and indirectly their sponsors but Russia is doing it out of self preservation and not out of love for Syria. Syrian people’s lives and well being are at stake not Russian civilians.
    No more cease fire agreements allowing the US/NATO and Turkey to re-establish and strengthen their position.

    • Mustafa Mehmet

      If Russia stops supporting assad. you won’t last 1 week Jim boy

      • Jimi Thompson 2

        Assad and the SAA will literally slaughter all of your Turkish fagg0t boyfriends.

      • jm74

        What makes you think that I am in the ME, amcık?

        • Mustafa Mehmet

          kiro ibne dönme

  • MeMad Max

    Fuck this, no more ceasefires, keep going till you kill them all….

  • Hanny Benny

    they put very heavy troops(many of their best tanks and artillary too) out of Greece/south-thrace and sends them to idlib!!
    in Greece this was in the news the last days!!!