US called Turkey to abandon S-400 air defense system after the clashes in Syria

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BRUSSELS, (BM) – US Permanent Representative to NATO Kay Bailey Hutchison called on Turkey to abandon the Russian S-400 anti-aircraft missile systems (air defense systems) in connection with the situation in the Syrian province of Idlib, learned BulgarianMilitary.com quoting TASS.

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Hutchison called Washington an ally of the past and future of Ankara and expressed hope that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan understands who is a reliable partner and who is not. “They see what Russia is. They see what she [Russia] is doing now. If they attack Turkish troops, then this should outweigh everything else that happens between Turkey and Russia,” the diplomat added.

Earlier on February 28, the US State Department announced its support for Turkey in the conflict with Syria and called for an immediate cessation of attacks by the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, Russia and Iran-supported forces. The department also added that they are considering options for how best to support Ankara “in this crisis”.

On the night of February 28, the Turkish army began to strike at the positions of the Syrian army in Idlib. The attack was a response to the shelling of Turkish troops in the Jebel al-Zawiya region, which, according to some reports, was carried out by Syria with the support of Russia. Ankara said that about 30 troops were killed as a result of the Syrian-Russian shelling.

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As a result of the offensive in January-February, the Syrian army occupied almost half of the Idlib de-escalation zone and left behind Turkish observation posts. This outraged Ankara, and Erdogan said that if by the end of February the Syrian troops did not withdraw from the line of posts, the Turkish army would begin a military operation.

Russia, which supports the actions of Damascus in Idlib, is trying to resolve the situation through negotiations, but the parties have not yet been able to agree.

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