There is every reason to believe that there will be no need for large-scale military actions in Syria, said Russian President Vladimir Putin at his meeting with the Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz.
According to Putin, the Turkish side takes their obligations of the de-escalation zone operations in Idlib seriously. Ankara contributes to the withdrawal of both militants and heavy weapons.
“We work in solidarity with the Turkish partners. We see that they are also serious about fulfilling their part of obligations. They work to ensuring the withdrawal of militants and heavy weapons. We will continue our joint activities, including joint patrols. All this would have been impossible without the Syrian authorities and Iran,” said Putin. “Military actions for the sake of military actions are not needed,” added the president.
Kurz, in turn, noted that Austria hopes for the withdrawal of foreign and, above all, Iranian troops from Syria for the war to end.
The situation in Idlib was the main subject of the third summit of the presidents of Russia, Iran and Turkey, which took place on September 7. Moscow and Tehran advocated a military operation on Idlib, but Turkish President Recep Erdogan urged not to turn the province into a “lake of blood” and not to give it up to Bashar al-Assad’s forces. The Syrian leadership declared its readiness to “clear” Idlib by military means, and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov called for the elimination of the "terrorist abscess” in this province.
The United States and Germany also opposed the Syrian army operation in Idlib. On September 17, after Erdogan's and Vladimir Putin's meeting in Sochi, it was announced that Idlib will become a demilitarized zone. On the same day, Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoygu announced that there would be no military operation in Idlib.
Tehran said that the establishment of the demilitarized zone prevented the war in Idlib by diplomatic means.
During the UN Security Council meeting on September 26, the U.S. President Donald Trump thanked Russia, Syria and Iran for “listening to his request” to limit bombings in Idlib.