Erdogan threatens with new operation in Syria. Russia reacts to Turkey’s message
ANKARA, MOSCOW, (BM) – Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan, speaking to members of the ruling Justice and Development Party, said that Ankara was ready to start a military operation in Idlib, learned BulgarianMilitary.com.
“If the countries with which we are negotiating do not do what is needed in Idlib, we will do it ourselves. Until we get a negotiation result that would satisfy us. We are fully prepared for our own operation in Idlib, it’s only a matter of time, we can start it at any moment, this is a vital operation for us.”
He added that over the phone he discussed the possible actions of Turkey with US President Donald Trump.
“We won’t leave Idlib to the regime, it does not yet understand our determination. We are determined to turn Idlib into a safe place for both civilians and Turkey, whatever the cost,” the Turkish leader concluded.
What Russia said?
In turn, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, commenting on the situation, noted that Moscow will continue to use contacts with Ankara to stop the escalation of tension in Idlib.
“We were satisfied with the agreements that were reached more than a year ago in Sochi, and this was mutual satisfaction, and we absolutely ceased to be satisfied after the offensive actions of militants and terrorist groups against the Syrian Armed Forces and the Russian military began from the territory of Idlib objects. That’s where our satisfaction ended,” said the presidential spokesman.
So, according to Peskov: “If we are talking about an operation against terrorist groups in Idlib, then these will be actions in line with the Sochi accords, because the neutralization of these terrorist groups is the responsibility of the Turkish side <…>. If we are talking about operations against the legitimate authorities of the Syrian Republic, the armed forces of the Syrian Arab Republic, then this is the worst case scenario.”
The first stage of negotiations between Russia and Turkey on Idlib took place in Ankara last week, the second in Moscow on Monday and Tuesday.
The Russian delegation included the President’s Special Representative for the Syrian Settlement Alexander Lavrentyev, Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Vershinin, as well as representatives of the Ministry of Defense. The Turkish delegation was led by Deputy Foreign Minister Sedat Onal.
The situation in Idlib
In accordance with the agreement reached in May 2017 by representatives of Russia, Iran and Turkey, four de-escalation zones were created in Syria. The territory of three of them in 2018 came under the control of Damascus. The fourth zone, located in the province of Idlib and parts of the neighboring provinces of Latakia, Hama and Aleppo, is still not subject to the government of the republic.
Moreover, most of it was captured by terrorists from Jebhat al-Nusra *. In September 2018, Russia and Turkey agreed to create a demilitarized zone in Idlib, where there are more than a dozen different units.
On January 26, the Syrian army launched an offensive in the west of Aleppo in connection with daily bombardment by terrorists of residential areas of the city, which killed dozens of civilians.
Amid escalation, Ankara and some of its partners accuse Damascus of striking humanitarian targets and the Turkish military. The Syrian government has repeatedly stated that the cause of instability in the region is the actions of terrorists.
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