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Erdogan, Putin Discuss Aleppo


Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan have discussed the Syria conflict in a phone conversation, the Kremlin says.

They agreed to continue coordinating efforts to achieve a resolution in Syria, it said in a statement on Friday. 

Turkey’s Anadolu news agency said Erdogan told Putin that it was essential to agree to a ceasefire in Aleppo “as soon as possible.”

The Syrian army has put foreign-backed militants under siege in Aleppo and now hopes to capture the whole city in what would be a devastating blow to the country’s enemies.

Turkey and other countries opposed to the Syrian government have intensified their parleys, putting forth a proposal through the “opposition” which they support, for Assad to step down.

Anadolu said Ankara is hoping a ceasefire will be implemented in Aleppo for the Feast of the Sacrifice (Eid al-Adha) Islamic holiday which in Turkey begins around September 12. 

Erdogan had met separately with Putin and US President Barack Obama on the sidelines of the recent G20 meeting in China, telling them both that it was essential to agree to a truce for Aleppo. 

In a major blow to Takfiri groups on Thursday, Syrian soldiers liberated the militant-held district of Ramouseh, which served as a strategic corridor for the terrorists into other occupied districts of Aleppo.

Calls for a ceasefire have risen following a chlorine gas attack in Aleppo which mainstream media antagonistic to Assad have tried to blame it on the Syrian government. 

Damascus has denied the accusations, saying the charges are an attempt by militants to divert attention away from their defeats.

The use of chlorine gas by militants against rival militant groups has already been confirmed by independent groups. A chemical attack in a militant-held area and a concerted campaign then to blame it on the Syrian government is a familiar scenario. 

While Russia has stressed the need to support the legitimate Syrian government, Turkey has been offering support to anti-Damascus militants.

Relations between Ankara and Moscow nosedived to a crisis point after Turkish fighters shot down a Russian bomber during over Syria in November 2015.

Turkey has recently been gravitating toward Russia following an attempted military coup which raised tensions with the West. 

Erdogan traveled recently to Russia, where he discussed the Syrian conflict with Putin, and called for a “clean slate” in the bilateral ties.


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