The Kremlin said on Thursday that President Vladimir Putin had no plans to meet Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan next week to discuss the fighting in the northwest of Syria, despite statements by Erdogan saying such a meeting was likely.
Syrian rebels supported by Turkey say they've recaptured a strategic town, in what would be the first major pushback against the Syrian army and its Russian-backed offensive that had previously made swift gains.
The town of Saraqeb sits at the junction of two highways and was lost three weeks ago to the government troops' advance.
Turkey has sent thousands of troops and heavy military hardware into Syria's Idlib region in its unprecedented incursion to back the rebels.
Nearly a million Syrian civilians have fled over the last three months, the biggest exodus of the war.
Despite the rebels claiming a victory Russian news agencies, citing military sources, are denying it.
Forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, aided by Russia and also Iranian militias, have gained ground in about 60 settlements in the last three days.
The Kremlin said on Thursday February 27) that President Vladimir Putin had no plans to meet his Turkish counterpart Tayyip Erdogan next week to discuss the situation, despite statements by Erdogan yesterday saying a meeting would be likely.