Russia's response: It's the worst case scenario

Turkey's military operation against Syrian government forces in Idlib would be the worst-case scenario, the Kremlin said today

Source: Tanjug
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Ilustracija: Getty images/Alexander Aksakov
Ilustracija: Getty images/Alexander Aksakov

Moscow strongly opposes the operation, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said, adding that Russia and Ankara remain in touch to try to prevent further escalation of tensions in Idlib, Reuters reported.

Earlier, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said talks with Russia about Syrian Idlib were rather far from meeting Turkey's demands, and warned that the military operation was only a matter of time.

Addressing the deputies of his ruling Justice and Development Party, Erdogan stressed that Turkey is determined to make Idlib, in northwest Syria, a safe zone "at all costs," even as talks continue with Russia, which supports Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's forces.

"An operation in Idlib is imminent," Erdogan told his party's legislators in Parliament on Wednesday. "We are counting down, we are making our final warnings".

A spokesman of Turkish President Ibrahim Kalin announced yesterday that Turkey would deploy more troops in the Syrian province of Idlib and would seek revenge for an attack by government forces, while Ankara continues talks with Moscow on the situation in Syria.

He said Turkey would continue to send troops to Idlib to provide security for civilians and the entire region.

Military attacks on Syrian and Russian forces continue

Russia - the Syrian government's main ally in the nearly nine-year war - responded by saying any Turkish offensive against Syrian forces in Idlib would be the "worst scenario".

"If we are talking about an operation against the legitimate authorities of the Syrian Republic and armed forces of the Syrian republic this would, of course, be the worst scenario," said Kremlin Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov, adding Russia and Turkey were staying in contact to prevent tensions escalating further.

Russia and Turkey failed to reach an agreement at talks in Moscow aimed at easing tensions over the Syrian province of Idlib, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Wednesday.

Lavrov, told a news conference that Syrian government forces, which are mounting an offensive in Idlib, were upholding previous agreements on the region but also reacting to provocations, Reuters reports.

He warned that militant attacks on Syrian and Russian forces in Idlib were continuing.

Lavrov added that Moscow supports the Syrian military's actions, which respond to "unacceptable provocations in Idlib," TASS added. Lavrov said Russia did not have any demands during bilateral talks with Turkey, which were held in Moscow on February 17 and 18 to regulate the situation in Idlib.

"As for the outcome of the Russia-Turkey talks in Moscow yesterday and the day before, we have not come to a conclusion on how to comply with the agreement between (Russian President Vladimir) Putin and (Turkish President Recep Tayyip) Erdogan on Idlib. We did not have any request. We have to implement the agreements that our leaders have reached", Lavrov said, referring to the outcome of talks with his Jordanian counterpart Ayman Safadi.

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