Turkey summons USA charge d'affaires over Syria: Turkish sources

More than 25 FETO suspects arrested across Turkey

Contacts aimed at finding a political solution to the Syrian crisis will continue at various levels, Russian Presidential Spokesman Dmitry Peskov told journalists commenting on reports about the Russian and Iranian ambassadors being summoned to the Turkish Foreign Ministry over ceasefire violations in the Idlib de-escalation zone allegedly committed by Damascus' forces.

Idlib was designated one of four "de-escalation" zones agreed under the Astana agreement struck between Russia, Iran and Turkey previous year.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says the USA is trying Turkey's patience by supporting and arming terrorists from the YPG (Kurdish People's Protection Units) and the PYD (Kurdish Democratic Union Party). This is also the reason for Vladimir Putin's telephone conversation with Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Ankara has also summoned ambassadors of Russian Federation and Iran for expressing displeasure on Damascus attacks in Idlib. Still, Moscow believes Ankara's protests are no more than a public stand while in fact Turkey is ready to bargain a deal with Russian Federation to carve up spheres of interest in Syria (Vedomosti, January 11, 2018). Now, the Turkish military and allied forces may go for Afrin with Russia's tacit consent (RIA Novosti, January 11, 2018).

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Rebels launched a counter-attack on Thursday.

The reports say that Syrian government forces, supported by Russian Federation were trying to regain control of areas controlled by Daesh and other rebel groups.

They were arrested when they attempted to escape overseas illegally. It remains unclear how or whether the United States, whose military presence is confined to the swath of Syrian Kurdish-controlled territory falling between the Euphrates River and Iraq, can intervene. The immediate trigger appears to be the series of mysterious drone attacks on Russian military bases in Syria's Latakia province since the start of the year. "It looks like the Idlib de-escalation is falling apart", Stein observed. Turkey entered the war in Syria on the U.S.'s side, but has grown increasingly distant over USA support for Kurdish militants. There are 2,000 American military advisers and trainers in the region, ...

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