Turkish President Erdogan: I asked Putin to step aside and let Turkey fight ‘Syrian regime’

As tensions in Idlib province reach the boiling point, Turkey has asked Russia to let it fight the Syrian government face-to-face, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan revealed.

Turkish President Erdogan: I asked Putin to step aside and let Turkey fight ‘Syrian regime’
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan

As tensions in Idlib province reach the boiling point, Turkey has asked Russia to let it fight the Syrian government face-to-face, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan revealed.

Erdogan asked Putin “to get out of the way” and let the Turkish troops deal with Syrian President Bashar Assad, the Turkish leader told his AK Party on Saturday.

Erdogan was explaining to lawmakers his government’s handling of the escalation in the northwestern Syrian province of Idlib, where Turkish and Syrian troops have engaged in several clashes over the past weeks. The hostilities have all but ruined Turkey’s 2018 agreement with Russia on de-escalating the violence in the area, which remains the last major stronghold of anti-government forces in Syria.

Describing his talks with Putin, Erdogan said if Russia’s interest in Syria was to keep a military presence there, Turkey, a NATO member, does not object to it. Moscow intervened in the Syrian conflict in 2015 to help Damascus fight against jihadist groups. Moscow said helping the Syrian government prevented future attacks launched by this would-be entity against other nations, including Russia.

Erdogan said Ankara now considers Syrian government troops a legitimate target for its attacks, claiming Damascus lost over 2,000 soldiers in Idlib. It was not immediately clear that the casualty number included only Syrian troops killed directly by Turkish military or counted those killed by Turkey-backed armed groups.

Erdogan added that the fighting is necessary to prevent a humanitarian disaster in Idlib, which would cause a new influx of refugees into Turkey across the border. He said he was expecting the international community and NATO in particular to support his country in the fight against the Assad government

News Source:- RT