Turkey summons Russian, Iranian ambassadors over Syria cease-fire violations


Earlier reports said that Russian military forces repelled a militant attack on Hmeymim and Tartus bases in Syria with the use of 13 combat UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles) overnight into January 6.

Turkey summoned the ambassadors of Russian Federation and Iran to protest the Assad regime's violations of de-escalation zone borders in Syria's Idlib in recent days, the Turkish foreign ministry said late Tuesday, Daily Sabah reports.

After two years of Russian military support for the regime of Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad, President Vladimir Putin announced in mid-December the partial withdrawal of forces from the country, saying their task had been largely completed.

Assad and his allies command the single largest chunk of Syria, followed by US-backed Kurdish militias who control much of the north and east Syria and are more concerned with shoring up their regional autonomy than fighting Damascus.

Turkey, which has been fiercely opposed to Mr Assad, has recently been working with his allies Russian Federation and Iran for a political resolution to the conflict. But Cavusoglu said the Idlib offensive was endangering those efforts.

"This isn't a simple air strike, the regime is advancing into Idlib". Fard visited the ministry on Wednesday.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the army and allied militias captured 16 villages and positions on Wednesday.

The combatants also battled from another direction along a front south of Aleppo city, near the border with Idlib.

Idlib province is nearly entirely controlled by anti-government forces that are dominated by a jihadist outfit known as Hayat Tahrir al-Sham.

The fighting and airstrikes have forced more than 60,000 people to leave their homes since November 1, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

Idlib is one of four de-escalation zones in Syria covered by a deal meant to reduce violence that was struck past year by Turkey, Russia and government-backer Iran.