Ankara and Moscow have no problems with the situation in Idlib, said Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar.
Earlier, militants based in the de-escalation zone of Idlib in northwest Syria, with the support of Turkish artillery, tried to break through the defense of the Syrian army in several areas.
At the request of Damascus, the Russian Su-24 hit the militants and allowed them to repel the attack. Ankara reported two dead soldiers in an air strike by the Syrian army.
According to Ankara, the opponents of the Turkish military in Idlib are Syrian government forces. He noted that Ankara would continue negotiations with Moscow.
“There may be different conditions: bad weather, different circumstances, but in general, the Sochi agreement is taken as a basis for what it says – this is what should be done. We have no problems with Russia, our goal is (Syrian) the regime”, – the minister said on CNN Turk.
Ankara and Moscow have established good contacts, he said.
“We are taking all measures to prevent accidents. We work in a very open and transparent manner. We do not want to allow any clashes with Russia in any way”, – said the head of the Defense Ministry.
In turn, the Russian Foreign Ministry said that Ankara’s support of the militants may lead to escalation of the situation. The diplomats stressed that Turkey is in violation of agreements to disengage the opposition and terrorists in Idlib.
The situation in Idlib deteriorated after the beginning of the Syrian army offensive in late January. Ankara then reported military losses due to Damascus and demanded to stop advancing in the province.
The Syrian and Russian authorities, in turn, noted that actions of government forces were aimed at clearing Idlib from terrorists.