Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan stated that the time Ankara has given Damascus to pull its troops away from Turkish observation posts in Syria’s Idleb 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.
The Turkish president hasn’t ruled out “active involvement” as a means to achieve the country’s goals in Idleb. Erdogan added, however, that he asked his Russian colleague, Vladimir Putin to try and convince Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to stop the Idleb offensive. Erdogan also claimed that Ankara will create the conditions needed for the safe return of Syrians to their homes in the province.
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 Idleb, but added that he will be raising this issue in his next talk with US President Donald Trump.
This article was edited by The Syrian Observer. The Syrian Observer has not verified the content of this story. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.