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Turkey seeks to defuse tension with Russia


22 February 2020 12:00 am - 0     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}


Merkel and Macron also voiced concern about a ‘humanitarian catastrophe’ that has seen an estimated 900,000 people flee their homes since December, 21, Feb, 2020 - Turkey said Thursday it wanted no “face off” with Russia over its Syrian ally’s months-long offensive against Turkish-backed rebels in northwest Syria.  

Russia warned Turkey meanwhile to stop arming the “terrorists” saying Russian warplanes had struck Ankara-backed groups in the Idlib region. The region’s growing volatility prompted Germany’s Angela Merkel and France’s Emmanuel Macron in Berlin on Thursday to call for talks with Russia’s Vladimir Putin and Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan.  

In their phone call with Putin, Germany said Merkel and Macron also voiced concern about a “humanitarian catastrophe” that has seen an estimated 900,000 people flee their homes since December.  

Earlier on Thursday, Turkey blamed a Syrian regime air strike for the deaths of two of its soldiers in Idlib.  

It brings the number of Turkish personnel killed by Syrian forces this month to 16. Five others were wounded on Thursday, the defence ministry said.

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