Middle East

Tayyip Erdogan Warns Operation in Idlib “A Matter of Time”

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan warned on Wednesday that Ankara’s launching a cross-border operation into Idlib, northwestern Syria, is just “a matter of time.”

“As with all [previous] operations, we say ‘we could suddenly come one night.’ In other words, an Idlib operation is a matter of time,” Erdogan told his party’s parliamentary group in the capital Ankara, referring to three Turkish operations into northern Syria since 2016.

The Turkish president said meetings with Russian officials on ending the crisis in Idlib, a conflict-battered province covered by a nominal cease-fire, have failed to produce results.

“Although the meetings will continue, it is a reality that we were very far from what we want,” he said, as quoted by Anadolu News Agency.

Tayyip Erdogan added: “Turkey has made all preparations to carry out its own operation plans in Idlib.”

Turkey is determined to transform Idlib into “a safe place at any cost for the sake of both Turkey and the region’s people,” Erdogan added.

Since 2016, Turkey has launched three operations across its border into northern Syria, moves considered by Damascus as an occupation.

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


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