Russia opposes call for ceasefire by Turkey, Iran said Syria must regain control over all territory
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan called for a ceasefire in the rebel-held region of Idlib in northwest Syria on Friday and said an anticipated government assault on insurgents there could result in a massacre.
Russia’s President Vladimir Putin said Moscow opposed a truce, and Iranian leader Hassan Rouhani said Syria must regain control over all its territory.
The three presidents, whose countries’ are key foreign players in Syria’s long civil war, were speaking at a summit in Tehran aimed at charting a way to end the conflict.
The situation in Idlib, the insurgents’ only remaining major stronghold, is an immediate issue as President Bashar al-Assad’s forces, backed by Russia and Iran, prepare for what could be the conflict’s last decisive battle.
In the meantime, there were reports of air strikes that hit parts of Syria’s rebel-held Idlib province on Friday, a war monitor said, as the presidents of Iran, Russia and Turkey met in Tehran to discuss the fate of the enclave.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the strikes were targeting positions belonging to rebel groups in the northern Hama and southern Idlib provinces.