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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Turkish President Speaks Against Possible Operation in Syrian Idlib - Reports

Sputnik News

01:35 05.09.2018(updated 08:14 05.09.2018)

Turkish President Rejep Tayyip Erdogan claimed that the possible offensive in Syria's Idlib province would be a massacre, local media reported.

Turkish President Rejep Tayyip Erdogan claimed that he hopes to prevent 'disproportionate' measures by the Syrian government at the negotioations with Russia and Iran at Tehran summit. According to Hurriyet, Erdogan said that "attacks on Idlib" would be a massacre.

Erdogan also said that the situation it the Syrian Idlib province was important as well as partnership with Russia.

Earlier, the US State Department said in a press release that US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu agreed during a phone call on Tuesday that any offensive by Syrian President Bashar Assad in Idlib would be unacceptable and an escalation of the country's conflict.

Idlib province, which is a remaining stronghold of insurgency in the country, is one of Syria's de-escalation zones. Syrian President Bashar Assad previously said that the Idlib province liberation was among the priorities for the Syrian military's operations. Syrian Foreign minister Walid Muallem said earlier that the Washington's warnings would not affect the "determination of the Syrian people and Syrian army's plans to clear Idlib and finally put an end to terrorism in Syria."

Meanwhile, the situation in the province has been tense amid reports on terrorists preparing a false-flag chemical attack against civilians, set to provoke western nations into launching a military action against the Syrian government.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan also expressed his dissatisfaction with delays in implementation of the Turkish-US agreements on the northern Syria city of Manbij.

In June, Turkey and the United States struck a deal regarding Manbij, agreeing that the US-backed Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) would withdraw from the city and yield control over Manbij to the Turkish and US troops. Ankara has long sought this development since it considers the YPG to be affiliated to the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which is listed as a terrorist organization in Turkey.

"I cannot characterize the situation around Manbij as satisfactory. Implementation of the agreement is being delayed. Unfortunately, the process is not developing in a proper direction. Heads of our [Turkish and US] foreign and defense ministries will hold the talks and I hope on some progress," Erdogan told reporters, as quoted by the Haberturk broadcaster.

The president added that he was not going to hold talks with his US counterpart Donald Trump on the issue in the near future.


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