The Russians arrived in Ankara on Saturday, days after a Syrian government attack in Idlib killed eight Turkish soldiers. Ankara then hit Syrian targets in one of the most serious clashes between them in nearly nine years of war in Syria.
On Monday, as Turkish and Russian officials held talks in Ankara, a second attack on Turkish troops in Idlib’s Taftanaz area killed five Turkish soldiers after Ankara’s deployment of thousands of troops to stem the Syrian offensive.
The Russian officials held talks at the foreign ministry on Saturday and agreed to meet again on Monday after failing to reach a deal, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said. They also held talks with an adviser to President Tayyip Erdogan.
In a statement following the meeting, the Turkish presidency said Ankara told the visiting Russian delegation that attacks on Turkish posts in northwest Syria must be stopped immediately and that such assaults will not remain unanswered, Reuters reported.
The Syrian army forces have been advancing rapidly in Idlib, the last major enclave of terrorists and insurgents opposed to President Bashar al-Assad.
Ankara has backed the terrorists, while Moscow and Tehran have supported Assad. Turkey has said it is ready for military action to halt Syrian advances. Moscow and Damascus say they are fighting terrorists in Idlib.
Erdogan also chaired a security meeting with defense chiefs on Monday to discuss steps Turkey may take against the attacks on Turkish troops and the presidency said Turkey reaffirmed its determination to halt clashes.