The leaders of Turkey, Iran and Russia have agreed in principle to a summit on Syria to be held in Istanbul. The decision follows recent phone calls by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to Russian President Vladimir Putin and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani. The date is yet to be determined. Foreign ministers from the three countries will hold a preliminary meeting in Astana, Kazakhstan, in March. Given the latest developments in Syria, which require increased military coordination and cooperation among the three countries, Ankara would clearly like the summit to take place sooner rather than later.
Turkey’s Operation Olive Branch in Afrin against the Syrian Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG), which Ankara considers a terrorist organization, and Russia’s joint operations with Syrian regime forces and Iranian-backed fighters in Idlib have caused strains between Ankara and its informal allies in Moscow and Tehran.