Turkey and Russia continue to cooperate in Syria to eradicate terror. High-ranking government representatives today agreed in Moscow, the Turkish government-friendly news agency Anadolu reports.
“We have a common will to clear the Syrian territory from all terror groups,” said Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu after meeting with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov. “Our goal is to eradicate the terrorist threat in Syria,” Lavrov said. The meeting came after American President Donald Trump announced last week that he is withdrawing his troops in Syria.
Ankara already let Washington know that it will help coordinate the American exodus and continue the fight against IS. The United States supported the Kurdish People’s Protection Units in Syria, the foremost Syrian-Kurdish militia that takes on IS. Turkey had been criticizing this support for some time and has been applying military pressure to Syrian Kurds for several weeks. Both Lavrov and Cavusoglu stressed that the Syrian territory must be preserved in its entirety, according to the Russian news agency Tass.
The two countries also agreed a number of measures to enable the return of Syrian refugees. Ankara and Moscow work together in Syria, but they do support groups that compete against each other. For example, rebels who support the Russian and Iran-backed Syrian President Bashar support al-Assad from Turkey. Early next year, the presidents of Russia, Turkey and Iran will come together for a summit on Syria, according to Moscow.