Turkey’s president reiterated to his Russian counterpart on Thursday the need for an immediate cease-fire and a political solution in Idlib, northwestern Syria.
In a phone call, Recep Tayyip Erdogan stressed to Vladimir Putin that casualties in Syrian regime attacks near Idlib mostly targeting civilians should be prevented, and the risk of a rising wave of migration should be eliminated.
Erdogan also stressed that Turkey’s bilateral relations with Russia are moving forward with a positive agenda.
Turkey and Russia agreed last September to turn Idlib -- near Turkey's southern border -- into a de-escalation zone in which acts of aggression are expressly prohibited.
The Syrian regime, however, has consistently broken the terms of the cease-fire, launching frequent attacks inside the de-escalation zone.
Syria has only just begun to emerge from a devastating conflict that began in early 2011 when the Assad regime cracked down on demonstrators with unexpected severity.
In addition to resulting in an estimated half a million deaths, the conflict has displaced millions of people, including some 4 million refugees in Turkey -- the country with the largest Syrian refugee population in the world.