Tuesday, 18 December, 2018

Putin, Erdogan agree to strengthen military coordination in Syria

What the Kurds of Iran and Iraq should learn from Kurds in Syria Putin, Erdogan agree to strengthen military coordination in Syria
Melinda Barton | 09 February, 2018, 02:20

The date of the summit would be set in coming weeks.

A statement put out by the Kremlin claimed Putin and Erdogan agreed to "strengthen coordination between the two countries' military and security services in Syria in the fight against terrorism".

The Syrian conflict began when the Baath regime, in power since 1963 and led by Assad, responded with military force to peaceful protests demanding democratic reforms during the Arab Spring wave of uprisings, triggering an armed rebellion fuelled by mass defections from the Syrian army.

Russian Federation and its Syrian government allies have intensified air strikes against opposition-held areas leading to scores of civilian deaths in recent days.

Erdoğan told Putin about the ongoing Turkish incursion into Afrin, while the two leaders "agreed on the need for the intensification of efforts for the establishment of monitoring spots in Idlib" as part of joint works to create de-escalation zones in Syria in line with the Astana agreement, sources said.

Rouhani also said Iran believes Syria's territorial integrity must be preserved.

Iranian president Hassan Rouhani said in a Thursday phone call with his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan that using national currencies in economic transactions could accelerate Tehran-Ankara relations, Press TV reported.

The last time such meeting took place in Sochi, Russia, in November.

The talks sponsored by Turkey, Iran and Russian Federation, set out the creation of four so-called de-escalation zones: Idlib, the greater Damascus area, the southern region of Daraa and the city of Homs. "They discussed future contacts in this format at various levels", the Kremlin stated. A meeting of the congress in late January stipulated the establishment of a committee tasked to write the new Syrian constitution under United Nations supervision.

The announcement comes as the seven-year conflict enters a new bloody phase, with Turkey continuing its offensive in Afrin against Kurdish YPG forces and as the U.S. and Israel launching strikes against Syrian government forces and their allies.

"The Turkish military operations in Syria were discussed during Cavusoglu's visit", the sources added.

Immediately after Rouhani's statement, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu paid a surprise visit to Tehran on February 7 to hold talks with the Iranian president and Foreign Minister Javed Zarif.