Russia says Turkey deploying kilometer-long convoys to Idlib
The Russian Defense Ministry has said that Turkish military convoys with a length of several kilometers have been entering Syria's northwestern province of Idlib in recent weeks. It has also urged Ankara to allow Idlib residents to enter other parts of Syria.
The head of the Russian Reconciliation Center for Syria, Rear-Admiral Oleg Zhuravlev, has said that Turkish military convoys with a length of several kilometers have been entering Syria's northwestern province of Idlib.
The Russian Reconciliation Center for Syria is part of the Russian Defense Ministry.
In recent weeks, Turkey has sent a large amount of military equipment and ammunition to the Idlib de-escalation zone in Syria, the Russian military official said during a press conference on Feb. 21.
Transport routes in Idlib have been working as usual these past few weeks, which has made it possible to move weapons and cargo transport with ammunition from Turkey into the area, he said.
Zhuravlev also said reports that hundreds of thousands of Syrians were fleeing Idlib in the direction of Turkey were false.
"The information about the alleged 'hundreds of thousands' of civilian residents of the province heading for the Syrian-Turkish border because of military clashes between terrorists and the Syrian government forces in the east of the province is not true," he said.
Therehave been no "verifiable photos or video recordings" thatwould prove this exodus, Zhuravlev said.
The Russian military official also urged Ankara to allow Idlib residents to enter other parts of Syria.
There has been no concrete agreement between Russia and Turkey regarding the Idlib conflict after two rounds of talks between their respective delegations in Ankara and Moscow earlier this month.
Ankara insists that it wants to avoid a humanitarian disaster but also wants to avoid flow of refugees into Turkey, which is already home to 3.6 million Syrians.