Moscow, Feb 21: Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan discussed the recent escalation of tensions in Syria's Idlib and confirmed that the two countries will continue intensive military contacts amid Idlib escalation during a phone conversation on Friday, the Kremlin said in a statement.
"The talks focused again on the situation in Idlib de-escalation zone. Vladimir Putin expressed serious concerns over the ongoing aggressive actions of extremist groups. The necessity of unconditional respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Syrian Arab Republic was emphasized," the statement said.
Putin and Erdogan agreed to intensify bilateral interagency consultations on Idlib, aimed at reducing tensions, ensuring a ceasefire and neutralizing the terrorist threat, it added.
According to the Kremlin, the leaders confirmed that intense military contacts would continue.
On Thursday, Syrian government troops backed up by Russian warplanes repelled several massive attacks by militants supported by Turkish artillery fire in Idlib.
Russia's Su-24 attack aircraft struck the militants, while the Russian military urged Turkey to stop supporting the militants and halt supplying weapons to them in order to avoid future incidents. (UNI-Xinhua)