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Syria: Erdogan warns Russia “our patience is running out”

UNITED STATES (OBSERVATORY NEWS) — Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Wednesday accused Moscow of not respecting the agreements concluded with Ankara on northwestern Syria, as Syrian and Russian aviation has intensified its bombing.

Erdogan said, according to what the official “Anatolia” news agency quoted with “Russia, we have concluded these agreements … if Russia does not respect these agreements, then we will do the same. Unfortunately for the time being, Russia does not respect them.”

“Our competent authorities meet with our Russian counterparts. We tell them: Stop the bombing of Idlib. If you will do this, this is good. Otherwise, our patience will run out. From now on, we will do what is necessary,” Erdogan added.

Erdogan’s criticism of Russia came after the Syrian regime regained control of Ma`rat al-Numan, the strategic city in Idlib governorate under the control of the opposition and jihadist factions, after a weeks-long bombing.

This ongoing escalation since December has displaced at least 358,000 people from the area, especially Ma`rat al-Numan, towards safer areas to the north, according to the United Nations. Of those displaced, 38,000 fled between January 15 and 19, the majority from western Aleppo.

After a serious diplomatic crisis in 2015, Ankara, which supports opposition factions, and Russia, an ally of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, began to coordinate closely on the Syrian file in 2016.

Erdogan and Putin entered into several agreements aimed “in theory” to reduce violence to secure the conditions for a political settlement to resolve the Syrian conflict, which has killed more than 380,000 people since 2011.

Turkey and Russia, along with Iran, also sponsored the Astana and Sochi mechanisms that allowed the establishment of “escalation reduction” areas And constitutional committee.

In this regard, Erdogan considered on Wednesday that “there is nothing left of the so-called Astana and Sochi.” “What can Turkey, Russia and Iran do to revive these two mechanisms? We must see,” he said.

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