11:01 GMT28 February 2021
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    ANKARA (Sputnik) - Ankara wishes to discuss with Moscow the creation of a safe zone in the Idlib province of Syria, Turkish Defence Minister Hulusi Akar told reporters on Wednesday.

    "Approximately 600,000 refugees from Idlib have already approached our border, we are trying to help them. Idlib residents do not want to go to areas controlled by the government, and we are thinking of talking with Russia about creating a safe zone for them," Akar said, as cited by the Turkiye newspaper.

    The defence minister added that 12 Turkish observations posts in the Idlib province "will not go anywhere."

    Russia and Turkey previously agreed to introduce a ceasefire in the province, starting at 00:00 local time (22:00 GMT) on January 12.

    The Russian Defence Ministry's centre for Syrian reconciliation confirmed that three corridors through which civilians could leave Idlib de-escalation zone started to operate, namely Al-Hadher in the Aleppo province, Abu Adh Dhuhur and Hobait in Idlib.

    Hulusi Akar, safe zones, Idlib, Syria, Turkey
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