U.S., U.K. and Germany called for an end late Wednesday to regime attacks on Turkey's observation posts in Syria's Idlib at a U.N. meeting in New York.
The recent escalation in Idlib saw Bashar Assad forces killing 13 Turkish soldiers.
Turkey’s U.N. envoy said that Ankara will not abandon Idlib observation posts, adding that the Assad regime must withdraw from the region.
Speaking at a U.N. Security Council meeting in New York, Feridun Sinirlioglu said Turkey will continue to respond by all means necessary against any attacks by the Assad regime on Turkish troops.
"We will not withdraw our forces and we will not abandon our observation posts. It is the regime who should withdraw from its current positions until the end of this month," said Sinirlioglu.
He said Turkish security forces are in Idlib to stabilize the situation and to preserve the de-escalation area.
"Our military presence and reinforcements are fully in line with the Sochi Memorandum of September 2018. The only option out of the biggest humanitarian horror story of the twenty-first century is a lasting cease-fire," he said.
He also said Syrians feel abandoned by the world and are awaiting the international community's help in Idlib.
The U.N. recently confirmed that at least 1,700 civilians were killed and nearly 900,000 were displaced from the Idlib de-escalation zone in the nine months of violence perpetrated by Russia and the Assad regime.
As President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s deadline given to the regime for withdrawing behind the Sochi deal borders draws near, reports also suggested that a trilateral meeting between Turkey, Russia and Iran could be held in the Iranian capital Tehran on March 5. The date is subject to change according to the developments in Idlib.
Backed by heavy Russian airstrikes, Syrian regime forces have been fighting since the start of the year to recapture the Aleppo countryside and parts of neighboring Idlib, the last opposition stronghold in the country.
The advances have sent hundreds of thousands of Syrian civilians fleeing toward the border with Turkey in the biggest single displacement of the nine-year war.
It has also upset the fragile cooperation between Ankara and Moscow, which back opposing sides in the conflict.
In September 2018, Turkey and Russia agreed to turn Idlib into a de-escalation zone in which acts of aggression are expressly prohibited.
But more than 1,800 civilians have since been killed in attacks by the Assad regime and Russian forces, flouting both the 2018 cease-fire and a new one that started on Jan. 12.
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