Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan yesterday threatened that his country will attack Syrian regime forces “everywhere” if Turkish troops are attacked again in Idlib.
“If any harm comes to our soldiers in observation posts or anywhere [in Syria], I declare that we will hit [Syrian] forces everywhere regardless of the Sochi deal,” the Turkish president told members of his Justice and Development party.
“I say it publicly that no one will be safe in a place where the blood of Turkish soldiers has been wasted. The planes that bomb the civilians in Idlib will not be able to move freely, as they did in the past,” he added.
The Turkish president pledged to push the Syrian government forces to behind the Turkish observation posts in Idlib by the end of February.
In the ongoing bombardment of Syria’s north-western Idlib province – the last major opposition stronghold – by the Assad regime, several Turkish soldiers have been killed over the past two weeks and over 51 Syrian soldiers have been killed by Turkish forces in response.
Despite the province being declared a de-escalation and safe zone after an agreement was struck between Turkey and Russia back in September 2018, that deal was violated by both the Syrian regime and its ally Russia when they launched the campaign in April last year to capture the province.