3 Feb 2020 15:55

Erdogan's intentions to strike Syrian troops in Idlib obstructing peaceful settlement process - Duma committee deputy chairman Novikov

MOSCOW. Feb 3 (Interfax) - Turkish President Recep Erdogan's promises to start an operation against the Syrian government troops are obstructing the Syrian settlement process, Dmitry Novikov, first deputy head of the Russian State Duma Foreign Affairs Committee, said.

"Of course, the situation cannot be called simple. There is no doubt that all these things complicate the situation and create new obstacles to Syrian settlement," Novikov told Interfax on Monday.

"Clearly, Turkey has thought about such intensification of its actions on the territory of Syria, not much time has passed since Erdogan made relevant political statements," he said.

At the same time, Novikov said he believed "one should work on the assumption that the work done by the Syrian authorities on settling the situation and fighting international terrorism on the territory of Syria, in which Russia was actively involved, has yielded very important results and everyone will need to take these results into account now in further steps and actions."

"Preconditions for the people of Syria to go back to normal life have been created, it's bad that new additional obstacles are arising on this path," Novikov said.

The Russian Center for Reconciliation of Opposing Sides in Syria said on Monday that Turkish troops had come under gunfire opened by Syrian government forces at terrorist groups.

"Turkish units were relocated inside the Idlib de-escalation area on the night from February 2 to February 3 without notifying the Russian side and came under fire opened by Syrian government forces at terrorists west of Serakab," the Russian military said.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan earlier said Turkey had delivered strikes in Syria in retaliation to the attack on the Turkish troops in Syria's Idlib.