During phone calls with Vladimir Putin, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron have expressed their willingness to meet with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in order to resolve the crisis in Syria’s Idlib province, the German government said in a statement.
Merkel and Macron have expressed their concern regarding the situation in the region and the catastrophic consequences of the fighting in Idlib. The national leaders called for an immediate ceasefire and for humanitarian aid to the province’s needy inhabitants.
The Kremlin said in a press release that Putin “emphasized the need to take effective measures to neutralize the terrorist threat while observing the principles of Syria’s sovereignty”.
The Russian president also expressed his condolences to Merkel regarding the shooting in the German city of Hanau.
On February 20, the Turkey-backed Syrian opposition began an offensive in Idlib. The Turkish army carried out artillery strikes against Assad’s forces’ positions, breaching the Syrian army’s defenses near Qminas and Nayrab.
In order to prevent the opposition forces from advancing, Russian Su-24 bombers attacked their positions. This enabled the Syrian government forces to repel the opposition’s other attacks.
Ankara later claimed that the Syrian Armed Forces had attacked the Turkish army’s positions. According to Fahrettin, director of public communications for the Turkish presidential administration, two soldiers were killed in the attacks.