Turkey will retaliate against the Syrian regime if it attacks Turkish forces again, said Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Wednesday.
Turkey is in a difficult position as its Syrian opposition allies come under attack by the Syrian regime, backed by Russian airpower, in Syria's northwestern Idlib province.
“Our response to the attack on our soldiers in northern Syria is the beginning of a new phase,” Erdogan said, according to state broadcaster TRT.
Agreements with Russia “ineffective”
Erdogan added that previous Turkish agreements with Russia about Idlib are ineffective. The two countries had agreed in the Sochi talks to establish a "safe zone" in Idlib, but this was being ignored, said Erdogan.
The Syria regime should withdraw its troops from its military observation posts in Idlib, or else Turkey would be forced to act, Erdogan threatened.
“At the moment, two of our 12 observation posts are behind the regime’s lines. We hope the regime will withdraw from our observation posts before the end of the month of February. If the regime does not pull back, Turkey will be obliged to take matters into its own hands.”
One million refugees and displaced people on the Turkish border is the result of what is happening in Idlib, according to Erdogan.
He also mentioned Turkey is reinforcing some areas to seek to accommodate a number of refugees from Idlib.
- With agencies