Syrian Gov't Troops in Khan Sheikhoun Do Not Violate Deals With Turkey - Lavrov
13:11 26.08.2019(updated 13:14 26.08.2019)
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, speaking about the situation in Khan Sheikhoun, said that the Syrian government troops, supported by the Russian Aerospace Forces, did not violate any agreements with Turkey.
"As for what is happening in the Idlib de-escalation zone and, in particular, in the Khan Sheikhoun area and the surrounding area: the Syrian armed forces with our support do not violate any agreements. Let me remind you once again, [Russian] President Vladimir Putin has repeatedly said this", Lavrov told reporters in Moscow.
Lavrov added that it had been impossible yet to organise joint military patrols by Russia and Turkey in Idlib.
He said the Syrian government troops had acted legitimately by eliminating the terror hotbed in Khan Sheikhoun.
The statement comes after the Syrian military regained control over Khan Sheikhoun on 22 August, as a part of last week's operation in nearby Hama province. For the most part of the Syrian civil war, it had been controlled by Islamist group Jabhat al-Nusra*, which later became known as Hayat Tahrir al-Sham.
Before that, a Turkish military convoy entered the Syrian city of Saraqib, located in Idlib, and headed to Khan Sheikhoun, which used to be under the militants' control. In response to that, the Syrian Air Force hit the convoy. After that, the Syrian army occupied key positions around Khan Sheikhoun, cutting Hayat Tahrir al-Sham terrorist group's supply lines.
In early August, the long-discussed truce entered into force in Idlib. The Syrian military leadership said it would resume its military operation in northwestern Syria if Ankara failed to implement its obligations under a Turkey-Russia agreement reached in Sochi last September. Three days later, on 5 August, the Syrian government forces resumed the operation due to the militants' non-compliance with the ceasefire agreement brokered by Moscow and Ankara.
*Al-Nusra Front or Jabhat al-Nusra, known as Jabhat Fatah al-Sham is a terrorist group banned in Russia
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