Sources close to Damascus dismiss Erdogan-Assad meeting

Sources close to Damascus dismiss Erdogan-Assad meeting
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Al Watan, a newspaper close to the Syrian government, ran a story to deny the possibility of a phone call between the leaders.

Senior officials close to the Damascus government strongly denied a possible meeting between Syrian President Bashar Al Assad and his Turkish counterpart Tayyip Erdogan any time soon. 

On Tuesday, Turkiye newspaper, known to be close to the Turkish government published a story saying that Erdogan could talk to Syrian leader over the phone in the near future.

Turkiye said that the two neighboring countries attained the phase of forming a joint commission in search of reestablishing bilateral ties and a Gulf country was meditating between them. 

However, Al-Mayadeen TV reported that talk about the possibility of contact between Assad and Erdogan is "totally incorrect," quoting high-ranking sources in Damascus.

Al Watan, a newspaper close to the Syrian government, shared Al-Mayadeen’s report and also rejected Turkiye’s story.

“The Turkish regime, which occupies many cities, towns, and villages in northern Syria, has previously repudiated all its obligations under the understandings reached with the Russian side, which call in particular to respect Syria's sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity,” al Watan said.

Turkey has launched three offensives into Syria since 2016 aimed at pushing the Kurdish fighters of SDF (Syrian Democratic Forces) further south to create a 30 km. deep safe zone along its southern borders, as it sees the People's Protection Units (YPG), the main component of the SDF, as part of the PKK (Kurdistan Workers Party) which has been fighting against Turkey for four decades.