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Turkey warns Assad regime against escalation in Syria's Idlib

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu slammed Assad regime for targeting the moderate opposition in İdlib by pretending that they had been struggling against Al-Nusra.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said Tuesday that the Syrian regime forces were targeting the moderate opposition "on the pretext of fighting Al-Nusra terrorist group".

Çavuşoğlu warned that such a move would undermine the political settlement process in Syria.

Receiving a question at the parliament on the latest developments in Idlib, Çavuşoğlu told reporters that the sides who would soon be coming together for the upcoming Sochi talks should not be engaged in such acts, adding that this attitude of the regime forces would "hamper the prospects for a political solution".

The Russian city of Sochi is the designated venue of the Syrian National Dialogue Congress, which is planned to be held on Jan. 29-30 with the participation of about 1,700 people.

The congress is expected to be participated by all segments of Syrian society except for the terror groups.

Turkey previously vetoed the involvement of the PKK/PYD or any group related to them at a planned Sochi gathering.

The presidents of Turkey, Russia and Iran met in Sochi on Nov. 22 to discuss the progress brought about by the Astana peace talks and the changes in the de-escalation zones across Syria.

Also at the same summit, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Vladimir Putin and Hassan Rouhani agreed to hold a Syrian National Dialogue Congress in the Russian city.

Syria has been locked in a vicious civil war since early 2011, when the Bashar al-Assad regime cracked down on pro-democracy protests with unexpected ferocity.

Since then, hundreds of thousands of people have been killed and more than 10 million displaced, according to UN officials.
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