Putin held talks about Syria with Erdogan
On Monday, Donald Trump announced his intention to meet with Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping during the G20 summit in Osaka, in June — Interfax reports. Donald Trump announced it to the reporters in the Oval Office of the White House, shortly before his meeting with the Prime Minister of Hungary, Viktor Orban. A spokesman of the Russian president, Dmitry Peskov, said that the United States haven’t yet proposed to Russia to have a meeting between the presidents of the two countries at the G-20 summit in Japan.
Vladimir Putin had a telephone conversation with the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The conversation took place by the initiative of Ankara — the Kremlin website reported. The parties discussed the situation in Syria. The focus was on the «frequent violations» of the cease-fire regime in the Idlib DMZ by the terrorists. According to the office of the Turkish president, Erdogan underlined that «the growth of the tension in the Idlib threatens the formation of a constitutional committee in Syria». Erdogan added that “the violation of the cease-fire regime in the Idlib DMZ during the last two weeks has reached a frightening scale” — TASS reports. In addition, Ankara accused the Syrian authorities in an attempt of undermining of the “Turkish-Russian cooperation in Idlib”, and in the damage to the Astana process.
The United States proposed Turkey to postpone their purchase of the Russian AA missile systems S-400, planned for July of 2019, until 2020 — Bloomberg reports. A delay could help the United States and Turkey — both are allies by NATO — to come to a compromise regarding the purchase of the S-400 systems from Russia. It would give Ankara an opportunity to avoid the American sanctions — Bloomberg reported. Earlier the Turkish presidential administration commented on the message from the «Bild» — the agency announced that Ankara may, allegedly, refuse to buy the S-400s from Russia under the threat of the US sanctions. Ankara underlined that the sources of «Bild» are wrong, and the purchase is a «done deal».
Syrian troops repelled a counterattack that was launched in the north of the province of Hama by the formation of the «Front of the National Liberation», supported by Turkey — TASS reports with a reference to the newspaper Al-Akhbar. According to the Al-Akhbar, the militants deployed a large amount of troops at the east of the city of Kurnaz for the breakthrough. They tried to take back two settlements — Hamamiyat and Al-Jabin — both were previously freed by the Syrian troops. However, the Syrian troops withstood the attacks of the militants, and even destroyed 9 armored vehicles. The militants suffered losses and retreated. On Monday, the Syrian army, in the course of an operation, liberated the settlements of Sheikh Idriss and Toubi, north of the town of Kfar Nabud, in the north of Hama province. In this area, the Syrian troops are fighting for the heights of Tell-Saher, and for the village of Al-Hobeit.