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Diplomatic Breakthrough: Possible Military Operation in Syrian Idlib Avoided

Moscow and Ankara will begin work on the demilitarized zone creation in Syria’s Idlib along the contact line between Syrian government troops and the armed opposition. It should be launched in a month, by October 15, TASS reports. The agreement is the main result of the four-hour-talks between the Russian and Turkish presidents. Vladimir Putin and Recep Tayyip Erdogan met on September 17 in Sochi.

The situation in the Syrian province of Idlib was on the agenda of their conversation. The province hosts the largest number of terrorists in Syria. Last year Idlib became a shelter for militants who refused to surrender.

According to the Russian leader, radicals and extremists will be evacuated from a 20km-wide demilitarized zone. By October 10, all heavy weapons will be withdrawn from this territory. The units of Turkish and Russian military police will control the situation in the militarized zone. This issue will be discussed with Damascus.

Vladimir Putin notes that Russia and Turkey have again confirmed their readiness to fight against terrorism in Syria in all its forms and manifestations.

After the meeting Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that both countries want to eliminate all radical groups from this province.

According to the head of the Russian Defense Ministry Sergey Shoigu, these agreements will help to avoid the military operation in Idlib. The Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, who appreciated the great importance of Russian and Turkish diplomatic efforts for the region, expressed the same opinion.

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