Ankara – Diplomatic sources revealed that Ankara was positively dealing with Russia’s announcement of a temporary ceasefire in Aleppo and that it agrees with Moscow concerning the need to throw out Fatah al-Sham militants from east the city to open the Castello Road and allow humanitarian convoys deliver aid to besieged residents.
The diplomatic sources told Asharq Al-Awsat Russian President Vladimir Putin had discussed the issue during his last visit to Istanbul. The subject is also tackled during the joint coordination meetings held at the military, intelligence and the foreign ministries level of both countries.
There is ongoing coordination between Ankara, Moscow and other regional parties in this regard, mainly Saudi Arabia and Qatar, the sources added.
On Tuesday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan asserted the Turkey-backed Free Syrian Army taking part in Euphrates Shield operation would continue in the direction of the city of al-Bab, one of the strongholds of ISIS in northern Syria.
Speaking at a ceremony in Ankara to mark the start of the academic year, Erdogan said: “We succeeded in ousting ISIS fighters from villages located at the border with Syria, and we are now marching towards the city of al-Bab to clear it from the presence of those terrorists.”
Meanwhile, the Turkish Army said on Tuesday that U.S.-led coalition warplanes killed 20 ISIS members in Syria over the last 24 hours, nearly two months after the start of Operation Euphrates Shield through which Turkey supports fighters from the Free Syrian Army to clean its border from terrorist organizations.
Turkey continues its Euphrates Shield operation in Syria as Iraqi forces launched a U.S.-backed offensive to expel ISIS from the northern Iraqi city of Mosul.