Presidents Vladimir Putin and Recep Tayyip Erdogan are meeting in Moscow to discuss the situation in Idleb and reach a decision for a ceasefire. At the same time as this meeting, the severity of the bombardment seen in the area is slowing compared with previous days.
Despite the reduction in the clashes, the people of Maarat Masrin north of Idleb woke to a horrific massacre, in which 15 civilians were martyred and another 20 were wounded during a Russian bombardment that struck displaced people.
The front lines in Saraqeb, Kafranbel, al-Futayra and Kafr Owaid were hit by artillery bombardments from regime forces and Iranian militias, while Russian aircraft carried out dozens of raids on the towns and villages of Jabal Zawiya in the southern Idleb countryside.
Sources told Jesr that rebel groups had destroyed a regime forces tank by hitting it with an anti-armor missile on the Kokba front in the southern Idleb countryside.
The National Front for Liberation said that there were dead and wounded in four groups of regime forces while repulsing a number of attacks on the al-Ziyara and al-Ankawi fronts in the western Hama countryside.
Politically, the two presidents have made a series of statements at the start of their meeting. The Russian president said that, “the situation in Idleb has grown tense to the point of requiring a direct meeting between us,” stressing the need to get through this tension and work not to repeat it.
Regarding the deaths of Turkish soldiers in Syria, Putin told Russia Today that “the loss of people is always a major tragedy,” adding that Russian and Syrian soldiers had not been able to know the locations of Turkish soldiers, and that the Syrian army had also suffered major losses.
He added that it had become necessary to discuss the situation today and to work not to repeat it, “in order not to harm Russian-Turkish relations, which we value highly.”
Putin addressed his guest, Erdogan, saying, “As you requested, we are ready to start a face-to-face discussion, with officials from the Turkish and Russian government to join us later.”
For his part, Erdogan pointed to the durability of Turkish-Russian relations, saying that the work being done to develop these relations was an important issue.
The Turkish president said that, “our relations have reached the peak, and this applies to the defense industries and commercial relations … we consider the primary task to be in developing these relations, and we are ready to do that.”
This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. The Syrian Observer has not verified the content of this story. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.