Turkey, World, Middle East

Erdogan, Putin discuss Syria situation over phone

Both leaders talk about efforts to find a solution to the humanitarian crisis in Syrian city of Aleppo

Ahmet Sait Akçay   | 26.11.2016
Erdogan, Putin discuss Syria situation over phone



President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin discussed the latest situation in Syria over the phone late Saturday, according to a presidential source.

The leaders talked about the recent developments in war-torn Syria and efforts to find a solution to the humanitarian crisis in the Syrian city of Aleppo, the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity due to restrictions on talking to the media, said.

Both leaders also spoke on Friday over the phone to discuss bilateral and regional issues. A number of issues had topped the conversation back then as well, including the attack on Turkish soldiers near Al-Bab in northern Syria as part of Turkey’s Operation Euphrates Shield.

Located 40 kilometers (25 miles) from the Turkish border, Aleppo is Syria’s second-largest city that used to be home to around three million people, mainly Arabs, including 400,000 Turkmens and 200,000 Kurds.

A year after the outbreak of the Syrian revolution in 2011, opposition forces took control of the city’s eastern districts.

In 2013, the Assad regime began a campaign of indiscriminate bombardment on the city that has triggered a humanitarian crisis in the war-battered city.

Last year’s Russian military intervention in Syria alongside the Assad regime has escalated the humanitarian situation in the city.

In February, the Assad regime and Iran-backed Shia militias cut the Castello road that was the opposition’s only way-out from eastern Aleppo to Idlib city and the Turkish border.

Though the opposition managed to open an alternative road to Idlib in August, it failed to maintain it.

Aleppo’s opposition-held eastern neighborhoods have groaned under a regime-imposed siege for more than 90 days, according to a recent joint statement issued by Aleppo’s pro-opposition health directorate and city council, along with activists and local civil defense officials.

More than 508 civilians have been killed and 1,871 others injured in regime attacks on eastern Aleppo since mid-November.

In the last 10 days, all hospitals and medical facilities stopped operating because of the attacks while schools were disrupted.

*Reporting by Ismail Ozdemir; Writing by Ahmet Sait Akcay

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