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Turkey says ceasefire not yet secured in Syria's Idlib

Turkey says ceasefire not yet secured in Syria's Idlib

2019/06/14 | 11:10

(Hatha al-Youm | Iraq News)- Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu on Thursday said a

ceasefire had not been fully secured in Syria's northwestern Idlib province,

despite an announcement by Moscow."We are working hard with Russia to stop these attacks.

It is not possible to say a complete ceasefire has been secured,"

Cavusoglu told a news conference with his French counterpart Jean-Yves Le Drian

in Ankara.Moscow announced a ceasefire had been brokered with Turkey

in the Idlib de-escalation zone as of midnight on June 12, after weeks of

escalating rocket fire and airstrikes by the Syrian regime and Russian forces.Cavusoglu said there were "serious and sincere

efforts" with Moscow to stop the violence, but said a full cessation had

not been realized.He also confirmed an earlier report that Syrian government

forces had launched mortar attacks on a Turkish observation post in Idlib,

injuring three soldiers."If the regime continues these attacks, we will do what

is necessary," Cavusoglu said and called on Russia and Iran, who support

the Syrian government, to "fulfill their responsibility".Russia's defense ministry said the attack on the Turkish

post was the work of "terrorists" and that it had responded with airstrikes."On the night of June 13, terrorists bombed Turkey's

military forces" in Idlib, it said in a statement."With the coordinates provided by the Turkish side,

Russian planes carried out four strikes... destroying a large group of

fighters."But in a statement issued late Thursday, Turkey's defense

ministry denied that assertion, saying incorrect "press reports" that

it provided coordinates to the Russians "do not reflect the reality".‘Indiscriminate attacks’Idlib is supposed to be protected from a massive regime

offensive by a buffer zone deal signed between Russia and rebel backer Turkey

in September.But it was never fully implemented, as jihadists refused to

withdraw from the planned demilitarized zone.The Syrian government and Russia have upped their

bombardment of the region since late April, killing more than 360 civilians,

according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based war

monitor.Cavusoglu accused Syrian President Bashar al-Assad of

seeking a military rather than a peaceful solution."We are seeing the increased attacks by the regime,

especially targeting hospitals, schools and civilians recently in Idlib,"

he said. "This is a disaster in every manner."Le Drian said the priority in Idlib must be to "restore

calm and serenity to avoid a new humanitarian disaster.""We call on the Syrian regime and its supporters to

stop their indiscriminate attacks against civilians in Idlib," he said.Syria's war has killed more than 370,000 people and

displaced millions since it started in 2011 with the repression of

anti-government protests.Russia launched a military intervention in support of Assad

in 2015, helping his forces to reclaim large parts of the country from

opposition fighters and jihadists.











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