Turkey urges Russia, Iran to stop Syria offensive on Idlib


A monitoring group, the British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, said the attacks were carried out by an Islamist rebel faction that operates in Latakia Province, where the Hmeimim base is located, according to the Associated Press news agency.

During a visit to the airbase on December 11, Russian President Vladimir Putin declared victory over "the most combat-capable worldwide terrorist group" - a reference to the extremist group Islamic State (IS) - and announced a partial withdrawal of Russian troops.

Russian Defense Ministry officials say that the drones could've only been prepared by a country with advanced satellite navigation capabilities, and a none-too-subtle suggestion that this may have been the United States.

Ahmed said families had begun makeshift camps on the sides of roads, and were burning whatever they could find to stay warm in the winter months.

No one has claimed responsibility for the attacks.

The Russian Ministry of Defense had previously insinuated the U.S. had helped.

"Iran and Russian Federation need to carry out their responsibilities".

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Ankara has been nominally been working closely with Russian Federation 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 over the past week. "But now they might bomb more after these false accusations".

More than 90 civilians were killed and over 200 others injured in attacks in de-escalation zones in Idlib in the past three weeks. The regime is moving in Idlib. "It's very, very murky".

Diplomats summoned in Ankara to express Turkey's "discomfort" about Syrian army attacks in Idlib, Turkish sources say.

Meanwhile, Turkey's foreign minister yesterday accused the Syrian regime of striking moderate opposition forces in Idlib province near the Turkish border, warning it could torpedo talks aimed at ending the war.

Earlier, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu accused Syrian government forces of attacking moderate opposition fighters under the guise of fighting extremists and said the move threatened peace talks scheduled in Russian Federation later this month.

The outlines of a potential new deal appear to be emerging under which Russia agrees to prevail upon the Syrian government to refrain from attacking any more opposition territory and Turkey agrees to prevent the opposition from attacking Russian bases, said Jennifer Cafarella of the Institute for the Study of War.