More Turkish troops to ensure lasting ceasefire in Syria's Idlib - Akar

Supporters of PKK Armenian Youth Federation and American Rojava Center for Democracy members hold a protest against Turkey during a meeting of President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan and U.S. President Donald Trump at the White House in Washin

The Turkish operation has resulted in limited casualties in recent months, but has allowed Erdogan to claim he will resettle as many as 1 million of the 3.7 million Syrian refugees in Turkey, as well as an additional approximately 600,000 refugees from Idlib, in this so-called safe or security zone.

Violence has flared in Idlib, just south of Turkey's border, in recent weeks as government forces backed by Russian Federation and Iran have made gains in their campaign to eliminate the last insurgent bastion after the country's nine year war.

During his meeting with Turkish Deputy Foreign Minister Sedat Onal, Jeffrey also extended condolences for the Turkish troops martyred by the regime attacks in Idlib on Monday, following a similar attack last week martyring seven soldiers and a civilian contractor working with the Turkish military.

The Turkish leader's comments were met with anger by the Kremlin, which in turn accused Ankara of breaching the 2018 deal by failing to contain Islamist elements in Idlib.

"I would like to say once again that all measures to ensure a permanent ceasefire, including the use of force when necessary, will be taken", he said. Moreover, Turkish allegations that the Syrian government is deliberately targeting civilians in Idlib are completely untrue, it added.

And Russia's Defense Ministry said the presence of Turkish troops and armor in Idlib was making the situation there much worse.

Under the bilateral agreements, radical groups were required to withdraw from a demilitarized zone in the Idlib region held by an array of rebels.

Russian Federation insists, however, that groups of "terrorists" continue fighting in Idlib.

Following Wednesday's telephone conversation between Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, a Turkish delegation "will visit Moscow".

The Turkish presidency confirmed the call but did not provide details.



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