Erdogan will visit Russian Federation with working visit

Erdogan will visit Russian Federation with working visit

The Syrian army, backed by allies Iran and Russian Federation, is preparing for a military offensive to retake the country's last major rebel stronghold -the province of Idlib.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu confirmed the Erdogan-Putin meeting during a joint press conference in Islamabad with his Pakistani counterpart Shah Mehmood Qureshi on Friday.

The presidents of Turkey, Iran and Russian Federation met in Tehran on Friday but failed to agree on a ceasefire in Idlib. About three million people live in the area now - about half of whom have been displaced before by the brutal seven-year war. It said a military offensive could trigger the worst humanitarian catastrophe of the 21st century.

Turkey has reinforced a dozen military posts inside the Idlib region, which lies across its southern border and is controlled by Turkey-backed rebels and jihadist fighters, trying to forestall a government assault.

Turkey stands to lose the most from a battle on its border that is sure to have a destabilizing effect on the country and areas it controls inside Syria. However, we are against hurting women, children and civilians at the pretext of the war on terror.

Syrian activists are reporting that new military reinforcements have arrived to beef up Turkish observation points inside Syria's last rebel bastion Idlib as a Syrian government offensive looms over the crowded enclave.

"Since September 4, an uptick in violence has killed scores of civilians and displaced more than 30,000 people, Laerke said. We will continue our contacts soon: President Erdogan will discuss the situation in Syria with President Putin on Monday", the TV channel NTV quoted Cavusoglu as saying.

Thousands of protesters attend a demonstration against the Syrian government offensive to Idlib, in the northwestern town of Maarat al-Numan, also known as al-Maarra, south of Idlib, Syria, Friday, Sept 14, 2018.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Thursday a Turkish convoy entered from Kfar Lusin crossing in northern Idlib, heading to some of the 12 Turkish observations points that ring Idlib. "The operation is not canceled, but we have time".

"It appears that the Russians and the Assad regime have temporarily looked the other way", said one of the sources, Colonel Mustafa Bakour, a commander in the Jaish al-Ezza rebel group.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that Moscow would keep bombing militant targets in Idlib if need be, but would also open humanitarian corridors to allow civilians to flee, the Interfax news agency reported.