Turkey urges end to regime attacks on Idlib

Syrian regime forces together with their Russian allies have increased air strikes and shelling in the militant-controlled northwestern province since last April. (File/AFP)
Updated 11 May 2019
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Turkey urges end to regime attacks on Idlib

  • “We expect Russia to take effective and decisive measures to ensure regime forces end their attacks on the south of Idlib,” Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said
  • Akar made his comments during a visit to the Turkish border with Syria, joined by top military commanders

ANKARA: Turkey on Friday called for an end to regime attacks on Idlib, accusing Damascus of seeking to extend its control of the province’s south in violation of previously agreed boundaries.
Syrian regime forces together with their Russian allies have increased air strikes and shelling in the militant-controlled northwestern province since last April.
“We expect Russia to take effective and decisive measures to ensure regime forces end their attacks on the south of Idlib and the (forces) immediately withdraw to the borders agreed as part of Astana Process,” Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said.
“The regime is trying to widen its area of control in Idlib’s south in violation of the Astana agreement,” Akar added, quoted by state news agency Anadolu.
He said the attacks were also a “risk” to Turkey’s 12 military observation posts around the region.
Akar made his comments during a visit to the Turkish border with Syria, joined by top military commanders.
While Moscow backs Syrian President Bashar Assad, Ankara has called for his ouster and supports Syrian rebels in the civil war which began with anti-government protests in 2011.
Despite being on opposing sides of the war, Turkey has been working closely with regime backers Russia and Iran to find a political solution to the Syrian civil war.
Their talks have been known as the Astana process which was launched in early 2017 in the Kazakh capital now called Nur-Sultan.
A separate deal agreed by Moscow and Ankara last year aimed to set up a buffer zone around Idlib, and avoid a massive Syrian regime assault on the province.


Libyan militia declares ‘zero hour’ for capturing Tripoli

Updated 46 min 40 sec ago
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Libyan militia declares ‘zero hour’ for capturing Tripoli

  • The Libyan National Army called on the young people of Tripoli to work with its forces
  • The internationally-recognized government in Tripoli issued a statement saying it had gathered intelligence about possible airstrikes by LNA forces

CAIRO: The self-styled Libyan National Army is declaring “zero hour” in its offensive to capture the capital, Tripoli, from the UN-backed government.
The LNA, led by commander Khalifa Haftar, called on the young people of Tripoli to work with its forces, via a post on its Facebook page published early Saturday.
Meanwhile, the internationally-recognized government in Tripoli issued a statement saying it had gathered intelligence about possible airstrikes by LNA forces against key sites in the capital, including the only functioning airport.
The Government of National Accord in Tripoli said Friday it had intelligence suggesting airstrikes against the capital by Haftar’s allies — including Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and France — were likely.
Libya sank into chaos after Muammar Qaddafi’s 2011 ouster and is now divided between rival administrations.