Tuesday, May 21, 2019
Text Size

Site Search powered by Ajax

What to expect from Turkey-hosted summit on Syrian war

Leaders of Turkey, Russia, Germany and France to discuss Idlib, aid, drafting of constitution and reconstruction.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is set to host the leaders of Russia, Germany and France at a four-way summit in Istanbul to discuss the long-running war in Syria, now in its eighth year.

In Saturday's meeting, Ankara is expected to press for a clear outline of steps towards a political resolution, as well as for the preservation of a deal reached in September with Moscow that set up a demilitarised zone around Idlib, the last major rebel bastion in Syria.

The solution in Syria "is a political one, not a military one," Ibrahim Kalin, spokesperson for the Turkish president, said on Friday.

Erdogan and his guests - German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Emmanuel Macron and Russian President Vladimir Putin - will also hold discussions on humanitarian aid, the drafting of a constitution and reconstruction of the war-torn country.

On Friday, seven people were killed in rebel-held areas in Idlib after Syrian government forces shelled two villages, according to opposition activists.

The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) said three children were among those killed in the shelling of Rafa and Umm Jalal villages.

The White Helmets, a civil defence group operating in rebel-held parts of Syria, also reported the same death toll, as cited by Anadolu news agency.

The villages are part of the demilitarised zone in Idlib, agreed by Turkey and Russia in Sochi last month.

The agreement reached between Russia and Syria prevented a government offensive on the last rebel stronghold in the country.

Idlib has been relatively calm since, though some armed groups have not met an October 15 deadline to evacuate the demilitarised zone.

Many feared that a government offensive in Idlib would trigger a new refugee crisis as the region is home to some three million people, many of whom were already displaced by the war from other parts of Syria.

France has said it intends primarily to promote the maintenance of the ceasefire in Idlib to avoid a humanitarian catastrophe and a new mass wave of refugees.

Paris also said it wants the effective launch of an inclusive political process in accordance with a United Nations resolution.

The summit comes amid Turkish threats of a new military operation across the border into northern Syria, in zones held by Syrian Kurdish fighters.

Turkey considers the Syrian Kurdish militia, which is backed by the United States, to be "terrorists" and a part of the Kurdish armed campaign within Turkey.

On Friday, Erdogan said Ankara would not allow "terror groups located east of the Euphrates River" to threaten Turkey's security.

Turkey launched two incursions into Syria, in 2016 and 2018, into areas west of the Euphrates, pushing fighters from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) armed group as well as Syrian Kurdish fighters from its border.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Subscribe via RSS or Email:

Israeli air raids kill five Palesti...

Read More

Fierce fighting 'eases' in Hodeidah...

Read More

Saudis discussed killing enemies a ...

Read More

Khashoggi killing: Demand for justi...

Read More

Israel kills seven Palestinians in ...

Read More

UK calls for end to Yemen war, Khas...

Read More

Most Read Articles

Most Read News


Thanks to all of our supporters for your generosity and your encouragement of an independent press!

Enter Amount:



Login reminder Forgot login?

Subscribe to MWC News Alert

Email Address

Subscribe in a reader Facebok page Twitter page

Israel pounds Gaza

India's Kerala state devastated

Capturing life under apartheid