Erdogan: We will attack Syrian forces 'everywhere,' deals have failed





Istanbul (dpa) - Turkey will attack Syrian forces "everywhere," without adhering to peace agreements, if Ankara's troops are harmed in any way, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan warned on Wednesday.

He lashed out at Syria's backers Russia and Iran - with whom Turkey has brokered deals to end the conflict - saying that "promises were not kept" and "agreements were not implemented."



"I announce here that, from today onwards, we will strike regime forces everywhere - without adhering to the borders of Idlib and the Sochi agreement - in case our soldiers at the observation posts or other places are harmed even in the slightest manner," he said.
In 2018, Ankara and Moscow - who support opposing sides in Syria's war - reached a landmark deal in Sochi to create a demilitarized zone around Idlib and stave off a Syrian offensive.
Erdogan was speaking to his ruling party members in parliament, after Turkish and Syrian troops exchanged direct fire in Idlib in the past 10 days.
He said 14 soldiers have died and 45 were wounded in the embattled north-western province.
Erdogan accused Syria, Russia and Iran-backed militants for "consistently targeting civilians, massacring and spilling blood" in Idlib, with the aim of evacuating the area and pushing displaced Syrians towards Turkey's borders.
"We will do whatever is needed on land and in the air without hesitating, without any stalling ... we will not wait for the results of endless meetings," Erdogan said.

Wednesday, February 12th 2020
(dpa)
           


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