‘Deliberate hoax’: Russian military denies NGO report of airstrikes in Idlib

24 Feb, 2020
Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reports of Russian airstrikes on two villages in Idlib province have nothing to do with reality, the Russian military said, adding that none of its planes operated in that area on Monday.
“The information provided by the British NGO is a deliberate hoax,” Rear Admiral Oleg Zhuravlev, head of the Russian Center for the Reconciliation in Syria, said at a briefing.
Earlier in the day, the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) claimed that an airstrike by Russian and Syrian forces on the villages of Kansafra and Al-Bara in Idlib led to the “killing and injuring of nearly ten Turkish soldiers.”
Ankara has not reported any casualties among its troops in Syria, however.
The SOHR claim came at a moment when Russia and Turkey stand on the brink of war over Syria. Ankara sent troops to Idlib – the last remaining terrorist stronghold in Syria – two weeks ago, provoking deadly clashes with the advancing Syrian army. Turkey has demanded Russia to pressure its allies in Damascus into ceasing its operations in the area, while Moscow blamed Ankara of not fulfilling it earlier promise to separate the “moderate” rebels from terrorists.
Last Thursday, Russian bombers struck militants who had launched an attack on Syrian positions with the support of Turkish artillery. However, both Russia and Turkey said they weren’t looking for a military conflict. A new round of consultation between the sides is being prepared in order to defuse the situation in Idlib, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov announced on Monday.
Read more at https://www.rt.com/news/481584

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Russia, Turkey preparing new series of consultations on Idlib – Lavrov

MOSCOW, February 24. /TASS/. Moscow and Ankara are preparing a new series of consultations on the situation in Syria’s Idlib, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told a news conference on Monday.
“Another series of consultations is now being prepared and we hope it will help us reach an agreement on how to ensure that this really becomes a de-escalation zone and terrorists don’t boss around there,” Lavrov said.
Russia’s top diplomat noted that the Turkish military in Idlib understands that the fighting in the de-escalation zone is against terrorists. “No one has ever agreed in the framework of the achieved deals between the Russian and Turkish presidents that retaliatory strikes won’t be delivered on terrorists should they try to act as they are doing now,” Lavrov stressed.
Read more at https://tass.com/politics/1123323