World News

Russia is hoping to minimise risk of clash with Turkey in Syria - Kremlin

MOSCOW (Reuters) - The Kremlin said on Tuesday Russia was hoping to minimise the risk of a direct clash with Turkey in Syria even though soldiers from both countries were in close proximity in Idlib region on different sides of a live conflict.

Moscow was commenting a day after Syrian government forces entered parts of a strategic rebel-held town called Saraqeb with Russia’s help. The Russian Defence Ministry said Russian military police had also entered Saraqeb.

“We hope that we’re able to absolutely minimise this risk (of direct confrontation with Turkey) thanks to the close contact between the two countries’ militaries,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters when asked about the risk of clash.

President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart Tayyip Erdogan are due to hold talks on Syria in Moscow on Thursday.

Separately, Peskov said discussions were ongoing about a possible summit on Syria between the leaders of Russia, Iran and Turkey.

Reporting by Alexander Marrow, Maxim Rodionov,; Editing by Andrew Osborn