XINHUA, MOSCOW: Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan discussed the situation in the Syrian city of Idlib during a phone conversation on Wednesday. The leaders discussed "various aspects of the Syrian crisis settlement, primarily in the context of the aggravation of the situation in the Idlib de-escalation zone," the Kremlin said in a statement. According to the Kremlin, Putin and Erdogan noted the importance of the full implementation of the existing Russian-Turkish agreements, including the Sochi memorandum signed on Sep. 17, 2018. In the memorandum, Turkey and Russia agreed to turn parts of Idlib, the last major rebel stronghold in Syria, into a de-escalation zone, where acts of aggression are prohibited. But the document was never fully implemented as rebels were not removed from the de-escalation zone and the armed conflicts did not die down.
The tensions in Idlib have flared up recently as the Syrian government forces, which are launching wide-scale offensives against the rebels in the area, exchanged fire with Turkish troops, causing multiple deaths on both sides.