Turkey, Politics

Turkey expects full implementation of Idlib deal: spox

Despite its designation as de-escalation zone, Idlib is repeatedly targeted by Assad regime

Abdullah Dogan   | 02.09.2019
Turkey expects full implementation of Idlib deal: spox

KONYA, Turkey

Turkey's presidential spokesman on Monday called on Russia and Iran to ensure the full implementation of the Idlib deal which was signed during the landmark 2018 Astana talks.

“The [Bashar al-Assad] regime must immediately stop its attacks [in Idlib] carried out on the pretext of terrorist elements,” said Ibrahim Kalin, speaking at a conference held in Turkey's central province of Konya.

Kalin said the northwestern Idlib city of Syria was designated as a de-escalation zone and it was under the guarantee of Turkey and Russia; however, Assad regime continued to target the region to gain more territory in a blatant violation of Idlib deal.

“The solution [in Syria] is that the political process is actualized immediately without delay,” he said, warning another humanitarian crisis was on the horizon if a political solution was not agreed upon.

Kalin went on to say that the establishment of the constitutional committee, transition government, holding election and aspects of Astana and Geneva processes were to be included in the political solution.

He added Turkey, Russia and Iran would have a trilateral meeting on Sept. 16 where the parties would discuss the Syrian crisis under the leadership of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Turkey and Russia agreed last September to turn Idlib into a de-escalation zone where acts of aggression are expressly prohibited.

Under the deal, opposition groups in Idlib would remain in areas where they were already present, while Russia and Turkey would carry out joint patrols in the area to prevent a resumption of fighting.

The Syrian regime and its allies, however, have consistently broken the terms of the cease-fire, launching frequent attacks inside the de-escalation zone.

Turkey has raised alarm over continued attacks in Idlib and their threat to civilians.

*Writing by Ali Murat Alhas

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