U.S. envoy, Turkish officials discuss Syria issue amid Turkish-Russian tension over escalation in Idlib

Source: Xinhua| 2020-02-13 03:57:23|Editor: Yurou
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ANKARA, Feb. 12 (Xinhua) -- Visiting U.S. Special Representative for Syria James Jeffrey on Wednesday met with Turkish officials in Ankara amid Turkey's tension with Russia over the escalation in the Syrian province of Idlib.

Jeffrey met with Turkish Deputy Foreign Minister Sedat Onal and Presidential Spokesperson Ibrahim Kalin to discuss the latest development on the situation in Syria, according to a tweet by the U.S. Embassy in Turkey.

Jeffrey and Kalin also discussed the ongoing efforts to promote stability and security in Syria, said the tweet.

"Today in Idlib, Turkey, our ally, faces a threat. This threat comes from the government of Russia and Assad," Jeffrey told reporters when arriving in Turkey late Tuesday, referring to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

The U.S. official also said he came to Turkey to re-evaluate the situation with the Turkish government, adding the United States will give as much support as possible to Turkey.

Describing the Syrian government's attacks on Turkish observation posts in Syria as unacceptable, Jeffrey and Kalin agreed that the current agreement needs to be upheld to prevent further deterioration of the ongoing humanitarian crisis in the region, according to a statement by the Turkish presidency.

In addition, Onal highlighted Turkey's attention to the implementation of the agreements of Astana and Sochi that aim at cease-fire in Syria, semi-official Anadolu Agency quoted a foreign ministry official as saying.

An attack by the Syrian government forces killed five Turkish soldiers and injured five others in Idlib on Monday when the Turkish and Russian delegations were in talks.

Another similar attack last week killed eight Turkish soldiers in Idlib.

Over the past two months, the Syrian army has been carrying out a wide-scale offensive in the southern and eastern countryside of Idlib as well as in the southern countryside of Aleppo Province, in a bid to secure a strategic highway that connects the country's capital Damascus in the south with Aleppo in the north.