Russian President Vladimir Putin and German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Tuesday discussed the situation in Syria's embattled Idlib province, the scene of Assad regime attacks on Turkish forces and a new Turkish operation launched this week.

In a phone call, Putin and Merkel discussed the recent upheaval in the Idlib de-escalation zone in northwestern Syria, the Kremlin said in a statement posted on its website.

"The issues of a Syrian resolution were coherently discussed, taking into account the current upheaval in the situation in the Idlib de-escalation zone. In this context, the two leaders expressed hope that the upcoming Russian-Turkish summit in Moscow on March 5 will be effective," it said.

Turning to Libya, Putin and Merkel stressed the necessity to respect the cease-fire and implement the decisions taken at the Berlin conference on Libya this January, it said.

Since the ouster of late ruler Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, two seats of power have emerged in Libya: Khalifa Haftar in eastern Libya, supported mainly by Egypt and the United Arab Emirates, and the Government of National Accord (GNA) in Tripoli, which enjoys UN and international recognition.

Idlib, just across Turkey’s southern border, falls within a de-escalation zone laid out in a deal between Turkey and Russia in late 2018.

The Syrian regime and its allies have consistently broken the terms of the agreement, launching frequent attacks inside the territory where acts of aggression are expressly prohibited.

Turkey on Sunday launched Operation Spring Shield after at least 34 Turkish soldiers were martyred in an Assad regime airstrike in Idlib.

Under the 2018 deal with Russia, the Turkish troops were in Idlib to protect civilians from attacks by the Assad regime and its allies.

More than 1,300 civilians have since been killed in the Idlib de-escalation zone in such attacks, sending about a million refugees towards Turkey's border with Syria.