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Turkey says Syrian strikes in Idlib undermine political process

From Reuters - January 9, 2018

ANKARA (Reuters) - Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Tuesday the Syrian army was striking moderate opposition forces in Idlib province and this was undermining efforts to reach a political solution to the war in Syria.

Turkey has been fiercely opposed to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad during his countrys six-year-old civil war but has recently been working with his allies Russia and Iran for a political resolution to the conflict.

The three countries agreed last year to establish a de-escalation zone in the opposition-held Idlib province and surrounding region, which borders Turkey, but Syrian forces have since launched an offensive in the area.

Regime forces are hitting the moderate opposition with the excuse that they are fighting Nusra (Islamist militants). This attitude scuppers the political solution process, state-run Anadolu news agency quoted Cavusoglu as telling reporters.

The groups who will come together in Sochi should not do this, he said, referring to the Russian city where a Syrian congress of national dialogue is set to be held at the end of this month.

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