Turkey has warned Russian authorities to avoid confrontation with the Turkish military in Syria’s northwestern Idlib province, as the country retaliates the Bashar Assad regime's recent attack that killed seven Turkish soldiers, and a civilian staff and left seven others wounded, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said Monday. On the same day, the defense ministry announced the cancelation of a scheduled Turkish-Russian joint patrol in Syria’s Ayn al-Arab province shortly after a statement from Moscow, which was later rejected by Turkish officials.
The president noted that Turkish officials have spoken with Russian authorities regarding the situation in Idlib and have told them to avoid confronting Turkish forces in the area during an operation to prevent incessant attacks by the Assad regime.
Erdoğan noted that Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu has already spoken with his Russian counterpart, while Defense Minister Hulusi Akar and National Intelligence Organization (MIT) head Hakan Fidan are planning to discuss the issue with their counterparts.
“More importantly, if we do not see the desired results then I will speak with my counterpart and convey to him the critical nature of the matter,” the president said.
He continued by adding that the ongoing Turkish operation is being carried out based on frequent correspondence between Turkish and Russian generals on the ground.
Erdoğan noted that around 30 to 35 regime troops were killed after Turkey retaliated against the Assad regime for attacking Turkish troops in Syria’s northwestern Idlib province, where attempts to establish a cease-fire have failed numerous times.
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