In a telephone conversation with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, his Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu agreed that an unbiased international probe into the incident in Syria’s Idlib is needed, the Russian Foreign Ministry reports.
“Lavrov confirmed inadmissibility of an act of aggression that Washington undertook against the Syrian Arab Republic under a far-fetched pretext and emphasized Moscow’s firm bid to seek an unbiased international probe into the incident in Khan Sheikhun on April 4 with an aim to establish facts. Cavusoglu agreed with a need to have such an investigation,” the ministry said.
The foreign ministers of Russia and Turkey emphasized that the Syrian crisis cannot be settled by military means, the Russian Foreign Ministry reported after the phone call.
“With this in view, a need was marked for joint work with an aim to maintain cessation of hostilities and boost the intra-Syrian process of negotiations, including in Astana and Geneva, on the basis of resolutions of the UN Security Council and decisions of the International Syrian Support Group,” it said.
Lavrov and Cavusoglu marked importance of joint work to achieve ceasefire in Syria.
“With this in view, they marked a need for joint work with an aim to maintain cessation of hostilities and boost the intra-Syrian process of negotiations, including in Astana and Geneva, on the basis of resolutions of the UN Security Council and decisions of the International Syrian Support Group,” it said.
On Thursday night, at the direction of US President Donald Trump, the US forces fired 59 Tomahawk Land Attack Missiles (TLAM) on a Syrian military air base located in the Homs Governorate. The attack came as a response to the alleged use of chemical weapons in the Idlib Governorate on April 4. The US authorities believe that the airstrike on Idlib was launched from that air base.
However, Damascus has rejected these accusations. Moscow, in turn, said that the Syrian army did not have chemical weapons since the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) had confirmed the destruction of Syria’s chemical weapons stockpiles.
Russia’s Defense Ministry said that on April 4, the Syrian air force had delivered an airstrike on the eastern outskirts of Khan Sheikhoun to destroy militant facilities used to produce chemical bombs. These bombs were sent to Iraq and were also used in Aleppo.