Turkey seeks to defuse tension with Russia in Syria

ANKARA (HRNW) – Turkey said Thursday it wanted no “face off” with Russia over its Syrian ally s months-long offensive against Turkish-backed rebels in northwest Syria.

Russia warned Turkey meanwhile to stop arming the “terrorists” saying Russian warplanes had struck Ankara-backed groups in the Idlib region.

The region s growing volatility prompted Germany s Angela Merkel and France s Emmanuel Macron in Berlin on Thursday to call for talks with Russia s Vladimir Putin and Turkey s Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

In their phone call with Putin, Germany said Merkel and Macron also voiced concern about a “humanitarian catastrophe” that has seen an estimated 900,000 people flee their homes since December.

Earlier on Thursday, Turkey blamed a Syrian regime air strike for the deaths of two of its soldiers in Idlib.

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