Ankara: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said that an operation in the Syrian province of Idlib was imminent in what he said was a “final warning” to the regime in Damascus, which is currently engaged in a Russian-backed operation to take control of one of the last rebel outposts.
Erdogan’s speech to members of his hardline AKP party on Wednesday came after Russia-Turkey talks on Idlib fell short of a concrete conclusion on Tuesday, reports Efe news.
“Now we are giving our last warnings. The operation in Idlib is only a matter of time,” he told his political allies. Turkey has insisted that Assad’s forces stay outside the so-called de-escalation zone, an area earmarked for a cessation of violence under the auspices of Ankara and Moscow
However, in recent weeks, Assad’s troops have been pushing into Idlib and the western Aleppo countryside from the south, prompting tens of thousands of civilians to flee their homes. “We will end the aggression of the (Assad’s) regime,” Erdogan said on Wednesday, adding: “We will not leave Idlib to the regime and those who support it.”
He added that he had discussed the topic on Wednesday with US President Donald Trump. Turkey’s defense minister, Hulusi Akar, had previously warned that Turkey was not ready to give up its observation posts in Idlib province. (IANS)