Ankara and Russia are taking steps to ease tensions in the Syrian province of Idlib, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Tuesday.
“We seek to put an end to these conflicts together with Russia, like we did within the Astana and Sochi processes. We cannot put up with attacks on our forces, so we took retaliatory measures in Idlib and we will continue to act this way,” he pointed out.
According to Cavusoglu, Ankara and Moscow “would like to ensure a permanent ceasefire and pave the way for a political solution.”
On Monday, Turkish aircraft and artillery carried strikes on 54 targets in Idlib, killing 76 Syrian troops, according to Turkey’s Defense Minister Hulusi Akar. The strikes came in response to an attack on the Turkish positions near the Syrian town of Saraqib, which had killed five troops and three civilian personnel.
The Russian Center for Reconciliation of the Opposing Sides in Syria, in turn, said in a statement that Turkish forces had come under Syrian government forces’ fire overnight into Monday because Ankara had failed to inform Russia about the movement of its troops. Terrorists retreating to Saraqib were the actual target of the Syrian army’s attacks.