Turkey has announced that it had fulfilled all its responsibilities in Syria’s Idlib region under the 2018 de-escalation agreements with Russia and Iran, international media reported. Ankara on Saturday announced that it might take military action if diplomatic efforts with Moscow fail. Both Turkey and Russia supported opposite sides in the Syrian Civil war but in 2018 agreed to set up a de-escalation zone in the Northwest region.
However, a regime led the Syrian offensive in Idlib in the past two weeks has killed 13 Turkish soldiers and severed the cooperative ties between Russia and Turkey. Following the offensive, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan threatened to attack Syrian forces if any other Turkish soldier was hurt. Meanwhile, Ankara announced that it will use force to drive back the Syrian army if they did not withdraw by the February end.
To its defence, Russia claims that Turkey has floated the deal and aggravated the situation in Idlib. Moscow also added that it failed to minimise militancy in the region. Turkish and Russian officials have repeatedly held talks in Ankara over the dispute. However, there has not been any agreement as yet as both sides continue to blame each other. On Monday, a Turkish delegation is scheduled to go to Moscow to discuss the matter in Idlib, international media reported.
According to international reports, Kremlin urged Ankara on February 12 to implement the peace agreements. After a phone call between both leaders, Kremlin reportedly released a statement that Russia and Turkey 'noted the importance of full implementation' of the existing accords including the Sochi memorandum. The leaders have also reviewed the different aspects of the settlement of the Syrian crisis especially in the context of the recent escalation in the Idlib de-escalation zone. It was in 2018 when both countries had agreed on a memorandum in order to enforce a demilitarized zone in Syria's Idlib region from which the 'radical' forces were asked to withdraw. However, Russia has insisted that groups of 'terrorists' have continued to fight in the same region.