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Turkish, UK defense chiefs discuss Idlib, Syria

Turkey's defense chief and his British counterpart spoke by phone late Monday about Syria’s embattled northwestern province of Idlib.  Hulusi Akar and Ben Wallace also discussed other defense and security issues, the Turkish Defense Ministry said in a statement. 

Idlib, near Turkey's southern border, falls within a de-escalation zone laid out in a deal between Turkey and Russia in late 2018.

The Syrian regime and its allies, however, have consistently broken the terms of the ceasefire, launching frequent attacks inside the territory, where acts of aggression are expressly prohibited.

The de-escalation zone is currently home to about four million civilians, including hundreds of thousands displaced in recent years by regime forces throughout the war-torn country.

Turkey has called for an immediate halt to the attacks on Idlib and for the ceasefire to be followed, inviting the international community to take action.

Meanwhile, Akar and his Ukrainian counterpart Andriy Zahorodniuk exchanged views by phone late Monday on issues spanning defense and security cooperation.

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