The announcement of postponement of Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov’s scheduled visit to Turkey for the second time in a week has given rise to indications of escalating differences between the two sides against the backdrop of the situation in Idlib and the increase in air strikes by Russian and Syrian forces in the region. Which is spread by militant groups, most notably the «Heyat Tahrir al-Sham », in north-west Syria.
Although the Russian media quoted the official version of the Russian Foreign Ministry, which said in a statement issued on Friday, that the reasons for the postponement “technical,” but commentators in Russian newspapers pointed out that the postponement that was announced yesterday on Saturday is the second during the week, reflecting ad divergence of views on the agenda and objectives of the meeting.’
According to the newspaper, “Lavrov’s visit was scheduled for March 12 to participate in an international event hosted by Ankara and to hold talks with his Turkish counterpart on the situation in Syria in general and in Idlib in particular, as confirmed by Russian diplomatic sources. But the visit was postponed until March 18 without clarifying the reasons for the postponement, and Moscow returned on the first day to announce the postponement of the visit for the second time, without specifying a new date this time, in the development of the absence of consensus between the parties to complete coming soon”.
It was noted that Moscow initially denied that its air strikes near the area of Jisr al-Shughur, describing data published by the Russian newspaper Kommersant as “baseless “.
But the Russian Defense Ministry returned two days later to announce Russian air strikes that it said targeted “militant concentration sites” used to direct attacks on Syrian government sites and added that precision strikes were coordinated with Turkey.
Moscow earlier warned that Ankara had failed to implement the Sochi agreement on the establishment of a demilitarized zone in Idlib.
Turkey is trying to merge Jabhet al-Nusra’s mercenaries in new organizations into the so-called Constitutional Commission, while Russia refuses to do so and considers that Turkey should dismantle these groups and hand over their positions to the regime’s forces.
Despite the Russian and Turkish attempts to hide the dispute and promote joint patrols in the region, the dispute was evident through the continued escalation that followed the talks between the heads of state. While the Russian-Iranian conflict in Syria also increased.