Iran, Russia and Turkey leaders to meet for crunch talks on Syria

07 September, 2018, 18:25 | Author: Trevor Moore
  • Syrian government forces attack rebel-held city

Erdogan as well as the presidents of Iran and Russian Federation will meet on Friday in Tehran for a summit expected to focus on Idlib.

Turkey, which backs opposition fighters against the Syrian regime of President Bashar al-Assad, has been working closely with Russian Federation and Iran.

"The illegal presence and interference of America in Syria which has led to the continuation of insecurity in that country, must end quickly", Rouhani was quoted as saying by AP.

He stressed the importance of continuing the fight against terrorism in Syria until the eradication of all terrorist groups in the country, particularly in the northwestern province of Idlib.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Friday said the USA and Israel have realized "they will not reach their objectives" by arming Syria's rebels, as he met with Russian leader Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan for highly-anticipated talks in Tehran to shape the future of Idlib, Syria's last major rebel bastion.

"This means we are not in a hurry to pull out", said Ambassador Jim Jeffrey, the newly appointed United States special representative, noting that creating conditions in Syria where ISIS or another terrorist group can't return may take a while.

Rouhani also said the battle in Syria would continue until militants were pushed out of the whole country, especially in Idlib, but he added that any military operations should avoid hurting civilians.

For Russia and Iran- who have been both allies of the Syrian government ever since the war broke out in Syria during the Arab Spring - reclaiming Idlib is vital to complete what they perceive as a military victory in Syrian conflict after Syrian troops recaptured almost all other prominent areas, largely quelling the rebellion against Assad.

"We hope that we will be able to reach an agreement and that our call for reconciliation in the Idlib area will be heard", the Russian president said.

What will happen to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad?

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As in other regions taken by Ankara-backed rebels, Turkey will later train a rebel force to ensure Idlib's security. "As far as we can see this is also the goal of the attempts to stage chemical weapons incidents by Syrian authorities".

A Syrian woman sits on a straw mat next to children outside a tent at a camp for displaced civilians fleeing from advancing government forces near the village of Sarman in the rebel-held northwestern Idlib province, September 1, 2018.

Trump has said Russian Federation could be a partner in Syria, but regional experts have long doubted Moscow's ability or desire to remove Iranian forces from the country. But we have already accepted 3.5 million refugees.

Activists and residents say warplanes struck areas on the southern edge of Idlib province on Friday, killing one and causing loud explosions and large plumes of smoke.

For Turkey, the stakes couldn't be higher.

Noting that Turkey hosts 3.5 million refugees, he said: "Idlib's population is now 3.5 million".

A spokesman for the National Front for Liberation, a Turkish-based rebel alliance, said the group's fighters were prepared for battle but are looking to Turkey for efforts to prevent the attack and "protect Idlib".

Elsewhere in his address, Rouhani said joint efforts made by regional and world countries as well as the United Nations have contributed to almost ending war and bloodshed in Syria, stopping acts of terror in the country and preventing their long-term regional and worldwide consequences.

Turkey also doesn't want to see another Kurdish-controlled area rise along its border, as it already faces in northern Iraq.

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