Turkey urges Russia, Iran to stop offensive on Syria’s Idlib

Turkey on Wednesday (January 10th) called on Russia and Iran to halt a Syrian air offensive on Idlib province near the Turkish border, AFP reported.

Ankara has been working with Russia and Iran to end the Syrian conflict over the last months but has stepped up pressure on Moscow and Tehran as the bombardments on Idlib intensified.

"Iran and Russia should fulfill their responsibility. If you are guarantors -- and you are -- they should stop the regime," Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu told the official Anadolu news agency.

"This is not a simple air offensive. The regime is advancing inside Idlib. They have a different intention," he said.

Cavusoglu stressed that in efforts to bring peace to Syria, Russia and Iran were the "guarantors" of the regime side and Turkey of the opposition.

Idlib province is almost entirely controlled by opposition forces that are dominated by Tahrir al-Sham, which has within its ranks many fighters from the former al-Nusra Front (ANF).

Turkey already has summoned the Russian and Iranian ambassadors, in the biggest public flare-up of tensions with Moscow and Tehran in months.

It conveyed "uneasiness" to the Russian ambassador Tuesday, calling the strikes a "violation of the borders of the Idlib de-escalation zone" established by Turkey, Iran and Russia, according to sources at the foreign ministry.

Cavusoglu said 95% of the violations in Idlib were carried out by the regime and its allies.

"We cannot remain indifferent. We have exerted so many efforts and we cannot waste them," he said.

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