Army chiefs discuss de-escalation zones in Syria

Vladimir Putin Bashar Assad

Turkish Chief of General Staff Gen. Hulusi Akar met his Russian and Iranian counterparts to discuss security issues, collaboration in the fight against terror groups as well as the reduction of violence in Syria and de-escalation zones, which were established after the Astana talks, the statement said. Putin also called for co-ordination of anti-terror efforts with the USA, the Kremlin said, adding that Afghanistan was also discussed.

Trump called it a "great call" Tuesday afternoon as he left the White House to spend Thanksgiving in Florida.

President Donald Trump spoke for more than an hour Tuesday by phone with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad made a surprise visit to Russian Federation this week for negotiations.

Syrian President Bashar Assad, arriving in the Black Sea resort of Sochi on Monday, warmly embraced his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, nearly resting his head on the Russian president's shoulder.

Russia, Iran and Turkey - all of which have backed Assad's forces - have authored a peace initiatives in an effort to resolve the Syrian civil war that has been raging since 2011.

Turkey and Russian Federation, together with Iran, are the guarantor countries which brokered a cease-fire in Syria in December 2016, which led to the Astana talks that ran parallel to UN-backed discussions in Geneva to find a political solution to war in Syria. Special Counsel Robert Mueller and congressional committees are investigating both the campaign and possible collusion with Trump associates. "As to whether I believe it or not, I'm with our agencies, especially as now constituted with their leadership".

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