Monday, 10 August, 2020


Turkey, Russia Trade Accusations Amid Rise In Syria Tensions

Bennie Garza | 13 February, 2020, 10:58

Turkey's military will strike Syrian government forces by air or ground anywhere in Syria if another Turkish soldier is hurt, Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said on Wednesday. The Turkish operation has resulted in limited casualties in recent months, but has allowed Erdogan to claim he will resettle as many as 1 million of the 3.7 million Syrian refugees in Turkey, as well as an additional approximately 600,000 refugees from Idlib, in this so-called safe or security zone.

Syrian troops and Iranian-backed militias have been advancing in Idlib in a campaign to destroy the last bastion of insurgents fighting for the past nine years to topple President Bashar al-Assad.

Turkey's President Erdogan is warning that attacks by Syrian government forces on his military will be met with the same overwhelming response.

Turkish observation posts were established in 2018 under the Astana peace process.

"The head of the Turkish regime comes with empty... statements only issued by a person disconnected from reality", state news agency SANA quoted a source at the foreign ministry as saying. "For this objective, it was agreed to conduct additional contacts through the relevant departments", read the statement.

Turkish troops are in Idlib - a ceasefire zone under a deal between Turkey and Russian Federation - as part of an anti-terror and peace mission.

The two countries have so far maintained an uneasy partnership in Syria, where they back opposing sides, but disagreements over who should control Idlib have brought them to the brink of a standoff.

Russian Federation insists, however, that groups of "terrorists" continue fighting in Idlib.

In September 2018, Turkey and Russian Federation agreed to turn Idlib into a de-escalation zone in which acts of aggression are expressly prohibited.

Since then, however, more than 1,800 civilians have been killed in attacks by regime and Russian forces, flouting both the 2018 ceasefire and a new one that started on January 12.

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