BEIRUT, LEBANON (9:30 A.M.) – Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu met with his Turkish counterpart Hulusi Akar on Tuesday in order to discuss the ongoing situation in the Idlib province of Syria, the Damascus-based Al-Watan newspaper reported this morning.
Informed sources told Al-Watan that the visit took place at the request of the Russian Defense Minister, who wanted to have an ’emergency’ meeting with his Turkish counterpart.
“We were forced to call you because the situation in Syria requires immediate attention,” Al-Watan reported, quoting an unnamed source.
Shoigu told his Turkish counterpart that the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) has ‘restrained’ themselves in the Idlib buffer zone, but the situation is becoming ‘intolerable’.
The Russian Defense Minister allegedly told Akar that Turkey needs to step up their efforts to force the militants to leave the designated buffer zone or else the Syrian military will be launching their offensive.
The meeting between the two defense ministers comes just a week before the upcoming Astana Peace Conference.