Russia accused Turkey on Wednesday of failing to meet its obligations under a pact to create a demilitarised zone in Syria’s Idlib province and of helping militants instead.
The RIA news agency quoted a Russian defense ministry spokesman as saying “terrorist” fortifications had merged with Turkish outposts in Idlib, resulting in daily attacks on Russia’s Hmeimim air base in Syria.
Turkey had amassed troop numbers in Idlib equal to a mechanised division, violating international law, the Russian spokesman said.
Turkish military spokesmen were not immediately available for comment.
The Russian accusation came on the eve of a Thursday meeting in Moscow between President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey and his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin.
They are expected to try to de-escalate tensions that have brought Turkey and Russia dangerously close to direct military confrontation. [Reuters]