Russia on Friday called for efforts for the implementation of agreements between Ankara and Moscow on Idlib, northwestern Syria.

“If military officers, diplomats and representatives of the security services make efforts, the agreements can be translated into the language of practical actions,” Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said at a news conference in Moscow.

Lavrov said Russian and Turkish presidents spoke over the phone and confirmed their commitment to the Sochi agreement.

"We reaffirm our full commitment to the agreements that were reached between the presidents of Russia and the Republic of Turkey on what should be done in the Idlib de-escalation zone: to separate the normal opposition from the terrorists, to demilitarize the line in this zone, and to ensure the unhindered use of highways that passed through this zone," he said.

Commenting on the latest Syrian regime attack that martyred 33 Turkish soldiers, Lavrov argued that the Turkish side did not inform the Russian side about the presence of military personnel in the area where the attack took place, a claim Turkey denies.

“But as soon as the Russian military got to know about the incident, it requested the regime forces to stop the offensive to provide a safe evacuation” of the wounded and martyred Turkish soldiers, he claimed.

Earlier in the day, Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said the location of Turkish troops was known by Russia.

“This attack occurred even though the locations of our troops had been coordinated with Russian officials in the field,” Akar told reporters in Turkey’s southern Hatay province.

The Turkish soldiers are in Idlib to protect local civilians under a 2018 deal with Russia under which acts of aggression are prohibited in the region.

Lavrov also offered condolences to the families of Turkish soldiers who lost their lives in the attack.

"We offer our condolences and, I repeat, we are doing everything possible to ensure the safety of the Turkish military personnel who are providing the de-escalation regime in the Idlib zone and our military on the ground are ready to continue this work," he said.

Lavrov said the Russian and Turkish negotiators have agreed to continue talks on Idlib.

Since Turkey and Russia reached a deal on Idlib in 2018 under which acts of aggression are supposed to be prohibited there, over 1,300 civilians have been killed in the de-escalation zone.

Idlib is currently home to 4 million civilians, including hundreds of thousands displaced in recent years by regime forces throughout the war-torn country.

More than 1.7 million Syrians have moved near the Turkish border due to intense attacks.

Since the eruption of the bloody civil war in Syria in 2011, Turkey has taken in some 3.7 million Syrians who fled their country, making it the world’s top refugee hosting country.

Erdogan, Putin agree to meet face to face: Turkish official

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin in their phone conversation agreed to meet face to face soon, Turkey's communications director said on Friday. 

Fahrettin Altun had a meeting with media representatives in Ankara on latest developments after Thursday night's attacks on Turkish soldiers by Assad regime forces in Idlib, northwestern Syria.

Erdogan told Putin that the current refugee situation along the Turkish borders was due to Syrian regime’s negligence and deliberate acts, Altun said.

He said that Erdogan, during his talk with Putin, clearly emphasized that the blood of Turkey's martyrs will never be left on the ground.

Altun added that in an environment where our country is under direct attack, he [Erdogan] said Turkey considers all elements of the regime "legitimate target", and that those targets will be under fire.

According to Altun, Erdogan also said Turkey expects that the regime will be obliged to comply with the Sochi agreement.

Erdogan added that these attacks cannot change Turkey’s stance on Idlib, and reminded Russia to fulfill its responsibility by stopping the Assad regime based on Article 3 of the Sochi agreement, Altun said.

Late Thursday, at least 33 Turkish soldiers were martyred and dozens of others injured in an airstrike by Assad regime forces in the Idlib, Syria de-escalation zone, just across Turkey’s southern border.

The Turkish soldiers are working to protect local civilians under a September 2018 deal with Russia under which acts of aggression are prohibited in the region.

But more than 1,300 civilians have been killed in attacks by Assad and Russian forces in the zone since then, as the cease-fire continues to be violated.

Thursday’s attack was one of a series since January on Turkish troops, with Turkish officials keeping their pledge that such assaults would not go unanswered.

The de-escalation zone is currently home to 4 million civilians, including hundreds of thousands displaced in recent years by regime forces throughout the war-torn country.

More than 1.7 million Syrians have moved near the Turkish border due to intense attacks.

Since the eruption of the bloody civil war in Syria in 2011, Turkey has taken in some 3.7 million Syrians who fled their country, making it the world’s top refugee hosting country.