Baku, Azerbaijan, Dec. 6
By Orkhan Quluzade – Trend:
Possibility of establishing a direct contact between Ankara and Damascus with the support of Moscow may be discussed during the visit of Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim to Russia, says Ismail Hakki Pekin, former head of intelligence department at the Turkish General Staff, retired colonel-general.
Prime Minister Binali Yildirim is in Russia on an official visit. He already held a meeting in Moscow Dec. 6 and will hold another meeting in Kazan Dec. 7. This is Yildirim’s first visit to Russia after his appointment as Turkish prime minister in May this year.
Pekin told Trend Dec. 6 that Turkey and Russia should closer cooperate in the issues regarding Syria and security in the region.
He pointed out that the issue regarding the situation in the Syrian city of Aleppo can also be brought to the agenda of the negotiations.
“Russia is trying to establish control over Aleppo. The Russian army as well as the Syrian government forces currently gained control over strategic locations and a large part of this Syrian city,” Pekin noted.
“At the same time, a significant number of Syrian opposition forces, supported by Turkey, are currently in Aleppo,” he said. “Possible withdrawal of the opposition from the city may be discussed during the talks with Yildirim.”
Pekin added that the Shield of the Euphrates operation, carried out in Syria by the Turkish Armed Forces, and the fight against terrorist organizations will also be brought to the agenda of the talks.
On Aug. 24 morning, the Turkish Air Force, with the support of the coalition aircraft, launched an operation to liberate the city of Jarabulus from the IS militants in northern Syria, near Aleppo.
The operation was dubbed the Shield of the Euphrates.
Syria has been suffering from an armed conflict since March 2011, which, according to the UN, has so far claimed over 500,000 lives.
Militants from various armed groups are confronting the Syrian government troops. The IS, YPG and PYD are the most active terrorist groups in Syria.
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