Middle East

‘We will give a much harsher response’, Erdogan warns Damascus over Idlib

Turkey will take decisive action if the fragile ceasefire recently brokered between Moscow and Ankara in Idlib, Syria is broken, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has warned.

We will not just retaliate [against] even the smallest attack here [in Idlib], we will give a much harsher response.

His comments come as the US considers intervening in the standoff in northwestern Syria. Washington’s special envoy for Syria, James Jeffrey, has floated the idea of NATO becoming involved. Deploying ground troops should the ceasefire fall apart, however, is not currently on the table, Jeffrey noted. The Turkish president said on Tuesday that Washington has already offered to provide intelligence regarding Idlib.

Erdogan and Russian President Vladimir Putin agreed to the Idlib ceasefire last week during an emergency summit in Moscow. In the days prior, fighting between Turkish and Syrian forces in the region risked escalating into a full-blown conflict.

The ceasefire is currently being monitored by the Russian and Turkish militaries, with forces from both countries conducting patrols in contested areas of Idlib.

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