Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has called on Turkey to strictly abide by the Sochi agreement on Idlib. In an interview to Rossiyskaya Gazeta, the Russian diplomat said that Ankara failed to deliver on a number of key obligations to ease the situation in the province.
“We are receiving information about the deployment of Turkish troops in the Idlib zone, about the beginning of their clashes with units of the Syrian army. Our military is monitoring this situation. According to our information, which has already been reported by the General Staff, the Turkish military advanced to certain sites inside the Idlib de-escalation zone, without warning us about these movements, and, therefore, we could not inform the Syrian army about this. The attacks were conducted (by the Syrian army) and the Turkish side has threatened to retaliate. This is all very sad,” the Russian Foreign Minister said.
Lavrov added that hundreds of militants are moving from the Idlib de-escalation zone to Libya to participate in offensives.
Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan signed a military memorandum in the Russian city of Sochi in October that created an 18-mile safe zone on the Syria-Turkish border and enforced regular military police patrols to facilitate the withdrawal of Kurdish fighters from northern Syria.