US President Donald Trump, who has often strongly expressed his voice against alleged Russian and Iranian-backed forces in the Middle East and North Africa, took to Twitter on December 26 and issued a stern warning to Russia, Iran, and Syria against 'killing thousands of civilians in the Idlib province. The President also backed Turkey's decision to press Russia on reaching a ceasefire in Syria. Trump, backing ally Erdogan, praised Turkey for 'working hard to stop the carnage in Syria'.
Russia, Syria, and Iran are killing, or on their way to killing, thousands of innocent civilians in Idlib Province. Don’t do it! Turkey is working hard to stop this carnage.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 26, 2019
Turkey, on Tuesday, said that they were in talks with Russia to reach a ceasefire in Idlib, Syria's northwestern province after Turkish diplomats travelled to Moscow to initiate talks on Syria and Libya. The Presidential spokesman for Turkey, Ibrahim Kalin also apprised that Russia has agreed to stop attacks in Idlib. The province, which holds significance due to the last important rebel pocket has witnessed an increased bombardment of targets by Russia and Syria, which Syrian President Bashar-al-Hassad has vowed to recapture.
The development came as thousands of Syrian civilians started moving to Turkey to seek refuge. Turkey expressed earlier that the nation would not 'bear the brunt' of the new influx of refugees. Turkey has taken in 3.6 million refugees since the violence in Syria broke out.
Turkey also initiated talks on Libya with Russian delegates in Moscow after Erdogan said last week that his country would not remain silent as the Russian backed Wagner group supports Khalifa Haftar’s forces there. Moscow, who replied saying that it was concerned about Turkish troop deployment to Libya is now awaited to comment on President Erdogan's announcement to send troops to Libya after the Government of National Accord requested it.
In a speech on Thursday, Turkey and Tunisia agreed to support the internationally recognised government of Fayez al-Serraj in Libya. Turkey, on December 21st approved a security and military cooperation deal with Libya that allows Ankara to widen its activities in the north African country.
Both Syria and Libya are currently under turmoil. Libya has been in a state of unrest since 2011 after the NATO-backed uprising toppled the longtime ruler Muammar Gaddafi. Syria, on the other hand, is also engulfed in a civil war since 2011 which has resulted in one of the worst humanitarian crisis for the nation. United Nations, in a recent report, informed that at least 400,000 people have lost their lives in Syria since 2011.