Erdogan hails progress with Iran, Russia over Idlib

February 24, 2019 - 21:54

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Saturday that “significant progress” has been made in his country’s ongoing talks with Iran and Russia to secure Syria's northwestern province of Idlib.

“Let’s secure the Idlib region completely, we say. We are talking with Russia and Iran to do that and we have made significant progress,” Erdogan said, Hurriyet Daily News reported.

“At least half a million Syrians are waiting for securing of this region to return there. Millions of Syrians will return to their homes when we secure the east of the Euphrates as well,” he added.

“We hope to accomplish it in cooperation with our allies. But we are keen to do it in our own capacity under any condition if they don’t provide us with such a convenience,” the Turkish president said.

It is estimated that between 10,000 to 15,000 members of different factions of armed groups, which Syria, Russia, Iran, and Turkey consider terrorists, are active in the volatile province, which is home to around three million people.

Iran and Russia believe that a buffer zone would help stop attacks from Idlib-based militants on Syrian army positions and Russia's military bases in the flashpoint region.

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