Russian Defense Ministry: Turkish observation posts in Idlib merge with fortified terrorist positions

Russian Defense Ministry: Turkish observation posts in Idlib merge with fortified terrorist positions

Observation posts of the Turkish forces in Syria's Idlib de-escalation zone were located in the fortified areas of terrorist groups and practically merged with them, official spokesman for the Russian Defense Ministry Igor Konashenkov said.

Konashenkov reminded that in accordance with the Sochi agreements from September 2018, Turkey pledged to oust terrorists with their heavy artillery for 15-20 km from the Idlib zone. However, instead, terrorist groups Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (also known as Jebhat al-Nusra, banned in Russia), Islamic Party of Turkestan (banned in Russia) and Hurras al-Din have been ousting militants from the "moderate opposition" to the Turkish border in the north for the last 18 months, he added.

"Fortified areas of terrorists have practically merged with Turkish observation posts set up in accordance with the agreement," Konashenkov noted.

He said that Russian air base in Hmeymim and Syrian cities have been subjected to daily shellings by militants because Turkey had not fulfilled its commitments on establishing a demilitarized area in the Idlib de-escalation zone.

"Attacks and massive artillery shellings of neighboring peaceful settlements and of the Russian air base Hmeymim have turned from sporadic into daily," TASS cited him as sayig.

Turkey has already transferred to Syria's Idlib de-escalation zone forces as large as a mechanized division but the West prefers not to notice Ankara's open violation of international law, Konashenkov added.

"No one in the West notices the actions of the Turkish side which has already transferred to Syria's Idlib forces as large as a mechanized division in order to 'implement the Sochi agreements at any cost'," he conckuded.

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