Turkish FM talks ‘Euphrates Shield’ with Russian counterpart
Sevil Erkuş - ANKARA
REUTERS photoForeign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu discussed the “Euphrates Shield” operation in Jarablus with Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov on Aug. 31, diplomatic sources have told Hürriyet Daily News.
Çavuşoğlu informed the Russian foreign minister about “Euphrates Shield” during a phone conversation and stressed that the cross border operation was ongoing in a successful way, as Syrian opposition groups had made progress against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).
The ministers exchanged views on the recent developments on Syria, discussing access to humanitarian aid in the region, ceasing clashes and starting a political process, according to sources.
Lavrov and Çavuşoğlu also agreed to meet as soon as possible, sources added.
At the start of Turkey’s now almost week-long cross-border offensive, Turkish tanks, artillery and warplanes provided ostensibly moderate Syrian rebels from the Free Syrian Army (FSA) with the firepower to capture the Syrian frontier town of Jarablus, which was abandoned by ISIL militants with little fight last week.
Since then, Turkish forces have mainly pushed into areas controlled by fighters aligned to the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), a coalition that encompasses the People’s Protection Units (YPG), the armed wing of the Democratic Union Party (PYD), and local Arab groups.