17:11 GMT19 February 2020
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    ANKARA (Sputnik) - Turkey's Foreign Ministry said that Ankara was working with Moscow to decrease tensions in Syria's de-escalation zone, where Turkish troops and the Syrian government forces recently clashed.

    "We are working with Russia to stop the attacks of the forces of the Syrian government", Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said, as broadcast on the Turkish NTV channel.

    Additionally, Cavusoglu said Turkey had in fact informed Moscow of its armed forces' movements in the Idlib zone ahead of the clashes.

    "As I told [Russian Foreign Minister Sergei] Lavrov, we always inform Russia about [military movements] so that there would be no clashes with Russia by mistake. It is impossible that there was no such information", Cavusoglu said.

    On 3 February, the Turkish Defence Ministry said that six Turkish servicemen had been killed in an attack by the Syrian army in Idlib. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan pledged that retaliation would follow. Moscow said that Ankara had not informed it of its military movements in the region.

    Fighting has intensified in Idlib province amid a Syrian army operation in the region to recapture areas of the de-escalation zone held by the terrorist groups.

    The area surrounding the city of Idlib is one of four nominated de-escalation zones created in Syria by representatives of Russia, Iran and Turkey during talks in Astana (now Nur-Sultan) in May 2017. Idlib is the only de-escalation zone not under the control of the Syrian government.

    Tags:
    troops, tensions, Moscow, Idlib, Syria, Turkey
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