Middle East

Trump, Erdogan discuss latest developments in Syria and Libya

US President Donald Trump and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan have discussed the latest developments in Syria and Libya in a phone conversation on Monday, the White House says.

“The two leaders discussed the need to eliminate foreign interference and maintain the ceasefire in Libya,” White House spokesman Judd Deere said in a tweet.

The spokesman said the two presidents have also discussed the latest situation in Syria’s Idlib, where the Syrian army has started a large-scale counter-terrorism offensive

Syrian government forces have liberated more areas during the offensive in the northwestern province of Idlib from the clutches of foreign-sponsored Takfiri terrorists, tightening the noose around the extremists operating in the troubled region.

Syrian military troops pressed ahead with their advances in the southern countryside of Idlib, and liberated strategic Ma’asaran town and the key village of al-Sawami’a from Takfiri terrorists on Monday, Syria’s official news agency SANA reported.

The capture came after “intense clashes” with the extremists, SANA said, noting that army soldiers inflicted heavy losses upon the terrorists and destroyed their hideouts and military hardware.

In Libya, military commander Khalifa Haftar moved forces on Sunday toward the city of Misrata, which is allied to the country’s internationally recognized government, officials and residents said.

The increase in fighting came a week after Turkey, which backs the government in Tripoli, and the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Russia, which back Haftar, agreed with Western powers at a summit in Berlin to push for a lasting ceasefire and uphold an arms embargo.

-Trump and Erdogan

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