Breaking: Turkey at war in Syria, says Erdoğan | Ahval

Speaking ahead of a phone call with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Friday called the ongoing conflict in Syria’s rebel-held Idlib “a war.”

Speaking ahead of a phone call with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Friday called the ongoing conflict in Syria’s rebel-held Idlib “a war.”

“I can say that there is a war,” the president told reporters. “This phone call will determine the course of events. This cruelty will stop.”

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron have invited Putin to a “very resolute ceasefire in Idlib,” Erdoğan said. “I cannot say that there is an expected response yet.”

Fighting in Idlib has intensified since the beginning of this year after Russia-backed Syrian government forces launched an offensive in the province in April, saying Turkey failed to uphold its end of a 2018 deal with Russia to remove jihadist fighters from the region.

Talks to reach a compromise between Turkey and Russia in the last two weeks have not been fruitful, while Syrian government forces have killed at least 13 Turkish soldiers in February and close to one million people have fled towards the Turkish border.

Merkel and Macron have proposed to hold a quadruple summit in Istanbul on March 5, Erdoğan told reporters, but Putin “has not given them the desired response on the proposal yet.”

Erdoğan said Turkey will remain in Idlib until Syrian government forces “end their cruelty against the people of Idlib.”

Turkish forces have killed 150 regime fighters and destroyed 12 tanks, 14 artilleries, three armoured vehicles and two pick-up trucks fitted with DHSK guns, Erdoğan announced.

The 25 million Euros ($ 27 million) of aid that Merkel promised Turkey has not arrived yet, the president said, while voicing concerns over the people approaching the Turkish border.

Earlier on Friday, Turkey’s Defence Minister Hulusi Akar, Chief of General Staff General Yaşar Güler and Land Forces Commander Ümit Dündar visited troops in the Hatay province on the Turkish border with Idlib, state-run Anadolu Agency reported.

Erdoğan said he had told the United States that Turkey could have used U.S.-made Patriot missile systems alongside the S-400 systems it purchased from Russia. “We do not want to work in a monotone way,” the president said, but the United States “did not, could not give (Turkey) a positive answer.”

The S-400 crisis resulted in the United States removing Turkey from the F-35 stealth fighter program last year, as well as lasting tensions with NATO. Turkey continues efforts to activate the system, Akar said on Thursday.

Source: Turkey at war in Syria, says Erdoğan | Ahval


US stands by ally Turkey after deadly regime attacks
‘We stand by our NATO Ally Turkey against these action,’ State Department spokeswoman tells Anadolu Agency

The U.S. expressed condolences Friday to Turkey following deadly Syrian regime attacks on Turkish positions in northwestern Syria’s Idlib province “used for coordination and de-escalation.”

“We send condolences to the Turkish government on the death of these soldiers. These attacks have now killed multiple Turkish personnel,” a State Department spokeswoman told Anadolu Agency on condition of anonymity. “We stand by our NATO Ally Turkey against these actions.”

“President Trump, in his call with Turkish President Erdogan on Saturday, expressed his concern over the violence in Idlib and reiterated our call for Russia to end its support for the Assad regime’s atrocities and for a political resolution to the Syrian conflict,” the spokeswoman added.

Two Turkish soldiers were martyred and five others wounded in airstrikes on Thursday in Idlib.

3 thoughts on “Breaking: Turkey at war in Syria, says Erdoğan | Ahval

  • February 21, 2020 at 2:10 pm

    Erdogan says Turkey will not withdraw from Syria’s Idlib until attacks by Damascus stop

    Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan vowed not to remove Turkish troops from Syria’s Idlib region and said that his upcoming phone call with Russian leader Vladimir Putin will help Ankara determine its policies.
    A phone call between the two leaders to discuss Idlib is expected to take place on Friday evening. “The result of this conversation will determine our attitude” in the area, Erdogan said. The Turkish leader stated that Ankara will not pull its forces out of Idlib while operations by the Syrian government continue there.

    Unless the regime [in Damascus] stops its attacks in Idlib, it is not possible for us to withdraw.

    Syria’s northwestern Idlib Province is the last-remaining major stronghold controlled by the forces fighting against the Syrian government. Some of these forces are jihadist groups and some are militants backed by Turkey. The situation on the ground deteriorated dramatically in recent weeks as the Syrian Army renewed its push against what it said were terrorists attacking Syrian troops and personnel. Turkey, meanwhile, accused Damascus of bombing civilians and shelling its soldiers.

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