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Turkish President Erdogan says safe zone in Idlib nothing more than a name

FILE PHOTO: Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan makes a speech during the new judicial year's opening ceremony in Ankara, Turkey, September 2, 2019. Murat Cetinmuhurdar/Presidential Press Office/Handout via REUTERS

ISTANBUL (Reuters) - Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said on Tuesday that a de-escalation zone in Syria’s embattled Idlib region is slowly disappearing and is currently nothing more than a name.

Speaking in Ankara, Erdogan also said it was not possible to stay silent ono military attacks on Idlib town and he would continue to make necessary contacts with all parties in the region.

Idlib, in Syria’s northwest corner, is the only big chunk of the country still in rebel hands after over eight years of war. A truce in early August collapsed three days in, after which the Russian-backed Syrian army pressed an offensive and gained ground against rebel forces, some of whom are backed by Turkey.

Writing by Ezgi Erkoyun; Editing by Mark Heinrich