Russian President Vladimir Putin said Thursday that he and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan have agreed to de facto conditions necessary for ending a war between opposing factions they support in Syria.
Putin’s announcement came as Russia works with Iran and Turkey to achieve a political solution to a six-year conflict that has killed hundreds of thousands and displaced millions. Turkey, which sponsors insurgents trying to oust Syrian President Bashar al-Assad since 2011, has reportedly agreed to the creation of four de-escalation zones across the war-torn nation. Russia and Iran, which back Assad, have seen sweeping victories against rebels and jihadists and have increasingly pushed the opposition to negotiate.
“I consider these agreements our common, extremely important success,” Putin said following talks with Erdogan, according to the Associated Press.
“The necessary conditions have been created for putting an end to the fratricidal war in Syria, completely destroying terrorists and allowing Syrians to return to peaceful life,” he added.
After being forced to withdraw his forces from most of the country, Assad underwent a change of fortune in late 2015, thanks to a Russian military intervention designed to combat rebels and jihadists battling the government and one another. Russia and Iran’s support helped the Syrian military stage a comeback, which persisted despite a Turkish invasion on behalf of rebels in northern Syria last year.
Following the Syrian military’s recapture of Aleppo, a former rebel stronghold, in December 2016, Turkey joined Russia and Iran in peace talks at Astana,…