Turkey urges Russia, Iran to stop Syria offensive on Idlib
Jan 13 2018
Turkish Foreign Ministry on Wednesday summoned the U.S. Embassy Charge d'Affaires Philip Kosnett in Ankara over recent developments in Syria, Anadolu Agency reported citing a diplomatic source.
In Washington, a State Department spokesman confirmed the meeting occurred but said "beyond that we aren't going to read out any details of the conversation".
Turkey's Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said that relations with the United States were harmed by Washington's refusal to extradite cleric Fetullah Gulen and its provision of arms to the Kurdish militant YPG.
The People's Protection Units (YPG), the armed wing of the Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party, or PYD, is seen by the USA as the most effective ground partner for the US-led coalition fighting ISIL in Syria. In May 2017, Deputy Prime Minister Nurettin Canikli called the supply of weapons to the Kurdish forces "unacceptable".
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 sources at the foreign ministry.
Ambassadors of the two countries were called in to express Ankara's displeasure over the continuing attacks in Idlib.
For is part, Zarif stressed Iran's commitment to cooperate with Russia and Turkey to find a way to reach a political settlement in Syria, hailing the effective impact of Russian-Iranian cooperation in fighting terrorism and extremism in the region.
Turkey has been fiercely opposed to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad during his country's six-year-old civil war but has recently been working with his allies Russian Federation and Iran for a political resolution to the conflict.
Violence in Idlib region has recently escalated, with Syrian government forces, supported by Russian Federation, trying to regain control of the rebel-held area.