The Russian president Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan started their negotiations on Thursday about the tensions in the Syrian Idlib.
“The situation in Idlib has deteriorated to such an extent that it requires us to have a personal and direct conversation,” Putin said at the start of the Moscow meeting. “Our meeting here for negotiations about Idlib is crucial,” Erdogan said.
“The whole world has turned its eyes on us. The appropriate measures and decisions that we will take here will calm the region and our two countries. “
Relations amongst Ankara and Moscow have deteriorated in recent weeks because of the situation in Syria. On Sunday, Turkey announced an offensive against the Bashar al-Assad regime in the Idlib region.
Two planes were killed, and nineteen Syrian soldiers were killed. The operation, “Spring Shield,” was launched after weeks of escalations. The previous week, more than 30 Turkish soldiers were killed in air raids that Ankara attributed to the Syrian regime.
Damascus has been carrying out a deadly offensive since December, with the support of the Russian Air Force, to recapture the province of Idlib. The offensive led to tensions between Ankara and Moscow.
Turkey supports some rebel groups and Russia supports Damascus, but both countries had stepped up their cooperation around Syria in recent years. In 2018, the Turkish president in Sochi, Russia, together with his Russian colleague, Vladimir Putin, signed a ceasefire over Idlib.