Middle East

Erdogan Warns Turkey “Won’t Step Back” in Syria’s Idlib

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan stated the time Ankara has given Damascus to pull its troops away from Turkish observation posts in Syria’s Idlib is coming to an end, adding that Turkey will not take the “smallest step back” in the province.

Instead Erdogan vowed that Ankara’s forces will push the Syrian Army beyond the perimeter of those posts by the end of February.

“We would like to remind those who try to corner Turkey by forcing their own agenda onto it, that we are not guests in this region, but its masters”, Erdogan said Wednesday.

The Turkish president hasn’t ruled out “active involvement” as a mean to achieve the country’s goals in Idlib. Erdogan added, however, that he asked his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin to try and convince Syrian President Bashar Assad to stop the Idlib offensive.

Erdogan also claimed that Ankara will create the conditions needed for the safe return of Syrians to their homes in the province.

Patriot Missile Purchase

In a separate comment, the Turkish president also indicated that the country has requested to purchase US Patriot missile air defense systems, but noted that Washington doesn’t have any extra for sale and hence can’t supply them to Turkey at present.

Erdogan stressed though, that Turkey has Spanish Patriots deployed in the country at the moment.

The Turkish president said that his country has not yet received support from the US on the situation in Idlib, but added that he will be raising this issue in his next talk with US President Donald Trump.

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