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Erdogan calls for Idlib ceasefire to be respected in call with Putin

Damascus and its ally Russia have pummelled Idlib province and surrounding areas [AFP]

Date of publication: 31 May, 2019

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Turkey President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Thursday called for the ceasefire in the Syrian province of Idlib to be respected, during a telephone call with Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin.
Turkey President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Thursday called for the ceasefire in the Syrian province of Idlib to be respected, during a telephone call with Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, the Turkish presidency said.

Erdogan told Putin it was important to "apply the ceasefire without delay in order to focus once again on finding a political solution" to the syrian conflict, a statement said.

He also "stressed the need to prevent more lives being lost in regime attacks mainly targeting civilians and to eliminate the growing risk of a migratory wave".

The discussion, the second between the two presidents in 15 days, comes as the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, backed by Russia, has intensified its bombing of Idlib province in recent weeks.

At least seven civilians, including four children, were killed on Thursday in Syrian strikes, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

Damascus and its ally Russia have pummelled Idlib province and surrounding areas - mostly controlled by Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, a group dominated by former members of al-Qaeda's Syria affiliate - over the past month despite a truce deal aimed at staving off a humanitarian catastrophe. 

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring organisation says over 285 civilians have been killed since late April in the enclave, home to almost three million people.

Russia and rebel supporter Turkey brokered the ceasefire deal in September 2018 to avert a government assault it was feared could spark the worst humanitarian disaster of the eight-year war.

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