Putin and Erdogan Agree to Boost Military-Intel Cooperation After Su-25 Downing

In a telephone conversation on Thursday, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan agreed to enhance cooperation between Russian and Turkish armed forces, as well as intelligence services in fighting terrorism.
“It is agreed to strengthen coordination of the actions of the armed forces and special services of Russia and Turkey in order to combat terrorist groups that violate the ceasefire regime,” the Kremlin press service said.
Erdogan expressed condolences to Vladimir Putin over the death of Russian military pilot Roman Filipov after the attack of militants in Syria, press service reported.

“The importance of clear and strict compliance with the Astana agreements on the creation of de-escalation zones in Syria is stressed. Both sides confirmed their commitment to a political and diplomatic settlement based on UN Security Council Resolution 2254, in line with the decisions of the Congress of the Syrian National Dialogue held on January 30 in Sochi,” the statement said.

On February 3, while flying over the Idlib de-escalation zone, a Russian Su-25 warplane piloted by Major Roman Filipov was shot down by terrorists using shoulder-mounted surface-to-air missiles. It was stressed that the pilot tried to keep the plane in the air until the last and managed to report the attack.
Both presidents noted the importance of continuing the joint work of Russia, Turkey and Iran with respect to Syria. In addition, during the conversation, prospects for new cooperation at various levels within this framework were discussed.
The leaders of Turkey and Russia are reported to have agreed on the need to speed up the establishment of observation posts in Idlib. The situation in the suburb of Damascus of East Guta was also discussed.
It is noted that Erdogan and Putin also discussed the situation in Afrin, Syria, where the Turkish Armed Forces are conducting operations, and in Idlib, which has been declared a de-escalation zone.
Turkey’s NTV broadcaster reported citing a source in the Turkish presidential administration that the two presidents had agreed to hold the second summit of Russia, Turkey and Iran on the situation in Syria in Istanbul. Putin and Erdogan also discussed the situation in Syria’s Afrin, where the Turkish Armed Forces are currently carrying out the military operation, and in the Idlib de-escalation zone.

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