Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan threatened to launch operation in war-torn Idlib province of Syria if the regime forces fail to withdraw behind Turkish military positions. Speaking to his parliamentary group in Ankara, Erdogan warned Damascus that it’s just a matter of time that the Turkish troops launch operation in Idlib.
According to media reports, Erdogan said that an operation in Idlib is imminent and that they are counting down and making final warnings. Ankara, who supports several rebel groups in the region and wants to stop refugee influx in Turkey, has been furious after 13 Turkish soldiers were killed in an attack by Syrian regime forces backed by Russia. Erdogan had recently warned that his military would strike Russian-backed Syrian forces if another Turkish soldier gets hurt.
Immediately reacting to the warning, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov reportedly said that if the statement regarding the ‘operation’ was made against ‘legitimate authorities’ of Syria and their armed forces, then this would be the worst scenario.
Russia and Turkey have been accusing each other of the ceasefire violations and offensive in the Idlib province. In a conference call last week, Peskov had told the reporters that the Turkish side is carrying out strikes on Syrian forces and taking aggressive action against Russia’s military facilities. He added that it was unacceptable to the Sochi agreements in which the two parties had agreed to create a de-militarised zone in Idlib.
Syrian NGO Alliance has been trying to draw the attention of the United Nations towards the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Syria. On February 10, the NGO alliance wrote to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to highlight the “gruesome military attack” from the Syrian regime and its Russian allies in northwest Syria that has killed “hundreds of civilians”.
“Amid powerless on the part of the international community, what the area is experiencing seems as there is a green light for the war machine to carry on with impunity claiming the lives of children and innocent people,” wrote the human rights advocacy group.
(With agency inputs)