The Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s visit to Sochi on Tuesday “will prove to be important,” Kremlin’s Spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters, pointing out that the leaders of Russia and Turkey will discuss Syria-related issues, Russian news agency Tass reported.
The fate of the cease-fire brokered by the US, after the Turkish invasion of Syria depends on Erdogan’s meeting with the Russian president Vladimir Putin, to determine the arrangements along the Turkish border with Syria, hours before the five-day ceasefire runs out.
Peskov said the visit “will prove to be important,” confirming that “the focus will be on Syria-related issues, particularly the situation in the country’s northeast.”
Erdogan said that only 800 Kurdish fighters vacated from the borders so far, and 1,300 fighters have to leave under the deal, said Associated Press.
During a visit to the northwestern province of Idlib on Tuesday, the Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad vowed to retake all areas lost to Damascus, asserting that he is ready to support any “popular resistance” against its invasion.
“We are in the middle of a battle and the right thing to do is to rally efforts to lessen the damages from the invasion and to expel the invader sooner or later,” he added.
The Turkish offensive in Syria was condemned by the international society. The European Council President Donald Tusk called on Turkey to pull out troops, on Tuesday. He also condemned the offensive saying, “No one is fooled by the so-called ceasefire.”
However, German Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer advocated for the establishment of an internationally controlled security zone in Syria in cooperation with European partners, as well as Turkey and Russia.
Meanwhile, the US pulled out its troops from Syria, receiving approval to enter the Kurdish region of Iraq and then leave Iraq. “No approvals have been issued for those [US] forces to remain inside Iraq,” said Iraqi officials.
Moreover, US President Donald Trump announced early on Tuesday, that some US troops will stay in Syria, adding that Israel and Jordan asked US to leave a small number of troops in “a different section of Syria,” explaining that US forces were needed in Syria to “secure the oil”.