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March 3, 2020 10:24 am

Russia Is Hoping to Minimize Risk of Clash With Turkey in Syria: Kremlin

avatar by Reuters and Algemeiner Staff

Plumes of smoke rise from a location, said to be Khan al Subul, Idlib province, Syria, targeted in a strike in this still image taken from a video uploaded on May 28, 2019. Photo: White Helmets via Reuters.

The Kremlin said on Tuesday Russia was hoping to minimize the risk of a direct clash with Turkey in Syria even though soldiers from both countries were in close proximity in Idlib region on different sides of a live conflict.

Moscow was commenting a day after Syrian government forces entered parts of a strategic rebel-held town called Saraqeb with Russia’s help. The Russian Defense Ministry said Russian military police had also entered Saraqeb.

“We hope that we’re able to absolutely minimize this risk (of direct confrontation with Turkey) thanks to the close contact between the two countries’ militaries,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters when asked about the risk of clash.

President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart Tayyip Erdogan are due to hold talks on Syria in Moscow on Thursday.

Separately, Peskov said discussions were ongoing about a possible summit on Syria between the leaders of Russia, Iran and Turkey.

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