An explosion has hit the Turkey-Russia joint patrol in Syria’s Idlib and no injuries were reported, Russian Defense Ministry Spokesman Igor Konashenkov said on June 16.
Konashenkov said that a Russian armored personnel carrier has been damaged in the explosion on the M4 motorway.
“Today, during the joint patrolling on the route between the settlements of Ariha and Urum al-Jawz, militants attempted to carry out a terrorist attack with the goal to undermine the monitoring along the M4 motorway. As a result of the explosion on the route of the convoy, one Russian armored personnel carrier has received minor damage,” TASS cited the spokesman as saying.
Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan approved a ceasefire in Syria’s Idlib province and other measures aimed to regulate the situation in the region during the talks in Moscow on March 5.
All hostilities in Idlib must be stopped on the entire line of contact starting March 6, the declaration signed on the outcomes of the meeting informs.
Starting March 15, Russia and Turkey began joint patrolling on the M4 motorway in Syria, along which they created a security corridor. Moscow and Ankara have confirmed their commitment to maintaining Syria’s sovereignty, agreeing to continue “decisive fight against terrorism.”
Russia has repeatedly noted that the patrols are unsafe due to potential attacks by militants. Due to this, the length of the first route has been shortened. In response, Turkish officials stated that they would take additional security measures in order to prolong the route of both countries’ military forces.
Lavrov: Russia, Turkey, Iran to hold summit on Syria
Separately, Ankara, Moscow and Tehran agreed to hold a video conference and then a face-to-face meeting on the Syrian settlement, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov announced on June 16.
The presidents of the three countries will discuss Syrian issues in a video conference and then will hold a summit in Tehran, Lavrov said at a news conference following a meeting with his Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif.
“Today, we confirmed the agreement of the three presidents of the Astana format countries that the summit will be held in Tehran within terms that will be determined considering the situation developing due to the coronavirus. We supported the proposal to hold a video conference before the face-to-face meeting of the three leaders. We will agree on terms of this videoconference quite quickly, and then announce them,” the minister said.
According to Lavrov, the video conference may take place before a gathering of the Syrian constitutional committee.
For his part, Zarif said he hoped that the video conference would be held by August.
Iran supports Russian, Turkish efforts in Libya
Asked about Iran’s view on the situation in Libya, Zarif said Tehran supports Russian and Turkish efforts in the country aiming to end the conflict.
“We support the efforts that Russia and Turkey are making to end the conflict in Libya, and we hope that the legitimate government in Libya will be able to bring calm to the people of Libya,” he said.
For his part, Lavrov said Russia’s approach to the Syrian conflict can be applied to Libya, as its main feature is to prompt the conflicting parties to hold talks and provide necessary conditions so that they could find a common ground.
“The only thing left is to convince the Libyan parties that they should sit down at the table and start negotiations. We are currently working on this,” he said.