Turkey, Russia Agree on Joint Steps for Withdrawal of Nusra Front From Aleppo

© REUTERS / Umit BektasTurkish President Tayyip Erdogan addresses the audience during a meeting in Ankara, Turkey, October 3, 2016. Picture taken October 3, 2016.
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan addresses the audience during a meeting in Ankara, Turkey, October 3, 2016. Picture taken October 3, 2016. - Sputnik International
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According to the Turkish president, Ankara and Moscow have agreed on joint efforts to achieve the withdrawal of al-Nusra Front Aleppo.

Iraqi forces deploy in the area of al-Shourah, some 45 kms south of Mosul, as they advance towards the city to retake it from the Islamic State (IS) group jihadists, on October 17, 2016 - Sputnik International
Mosul Operation Risks Becoming Even Bloodier Than Battle of Aleppo
ANKARA (Sputnik) – Ankara and Moscow have agreed on joint efforts to achieve the withdrawal of al-Nusra Front militant group from the Syrian city of Aleppo, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Wednesday.

"Yesterday I spoke with [Russian President Vladimir] Putin. We discussed Aleppo … We gave necessary instructions to our colleagues and began work in this direction [to achieve Nusra Front leaving Aleppo]. We also discussed the agreement to drive Nusra [Front] out of Aleppo and ensure peace for the residents of the city, and we must work together for this," Erdogan said.

If the hostilities in Syrian Aleppo intensify even further then up to 1 million residents may be forced to escape to Turkey, Erdogan stated.

"If the refugee exodus from Aleppo would take place, then, according to the most conservative estimates, about a million people would come to Turkey. We just can not cover these costs," Erdogan said.

The United Nations has registered more than 4.8 million Syrian refugees, with more than 2.7 million currently residing in Turkey.

Aleppo has been engulfed in a heavy fighting since the government forces began a major offensive on the rebel-held eastern districts of the city following the collapse of the ceasefire brokered by Russia and the United States in early September.

The ongoing conflict in Syria has lasted for about five years. Since its beginning it has claimed the lives of thousands of people and displaced millions more. The international community has undertaken steps to end the Syrian conflict and to solve the humanitarian crisis in the country.

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