By Ilkay Guder
ANKARA (AA) – Turkey is pressing for a cease-fire in the northern Syrian city of Aleppo to be introduced before the Muslim feast of Eid al-Adha next week, presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin said Tuesday.
Kalin said President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had discussed a potential end to hostilities around the besieged city with U.S. President Barack Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin at the weekend’s G20 meeting in China.
“He said ‘Please materialize the cease-fire in Aleppo as soon as possible.’ He discussed the issue with them again and again separately,” Kalin told broadcaster NTV.
The spokesman added: “In a phone conversation with Putin a week before the G20 summit, Erdogan said ‘Eid al-Adha is coming. Let’s schedule the cease-fire according to the Muslim world’s sensibilities. The people in Aleppo and around will breathe a sigh of relief at least during Eid al-Adha.”
Syrian regime troops, backed by Russian air power, re-imposed their siege on opposition-held eastern Aleppo on Sunday, reversing opposition advances made last month. The city, which was Syria’s largest before the conflict, is the main front between the forces of Bashar al-Assad and various opposition groups.
A cease-fire agreed in February with the backing of the U.S. and Russia collapsed amid allegations of truce violations.
Kalin said a cease-fire would allow humanitarian corridors to be opened to Damascus and Turkey, which launched its own operation in northern Syria on Aug. 24 to drive Daesh away from the border.
Kalin said the removal of Daesh, which had previously controlled a stretch of territory facing the Turkish provinces of Gaziantep and Kilis, was “an important situation”.