DAMASCUS – An official at the Syrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates dismissed Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s threats of a military operation in Syria’s northwestern Idlib province as hollow, stressing that they have been made by someone detached from realities on the ground.
The unmanned source said that Erdogan, who supports, arms and trains terrorists, and whose role as a tool for international terrorism and a puppet in the hands of the United States has been exposed, has uttered empty threats that can be made only by a person disconnected from reality, PressTV reported.
The source added such statements by Recep Tayyip Erdogan are simply made by someone who does not understand the changing developments, and threatens to attack Syrian Arab Army soldiers after the Turkish Army and their proxies deservedly suffered a heavy blow.
The diplomat further highlighted that the Syrian government is fairly determined to perform its national and constitutional duties as regards the campaign against terrorist groups across the country, and to open up a humanitarian corridor for the exit of civilians as Turkish-backed terrorist groups prevent their departure and kidnap them to use as human shields.
“The Syrian Arab Republic reiterates that any presence of Turkish forces on its territories is illegitimate, and a blatant violation of the international law. It holds the Turkish regime fully responsible for the consequences of such a deployment,” the source concluded.
Earlier in the day, Erdogan said Turkey’s military would strike Syrian army forces by air or ground anywhere in Syria if another Turkish soldier was hurt as Syrian government troops continue to make significant gains in battles against foreign-backed terrorists in Idlib province.
Erdogan said Turkey is determined to push Syrian government forces beyond Turkish observation posts in Idlib by the end this month, and he urged allied terrorists not to give government forces an excuse to attack. Meanwhile, Russia has accused Turkey of failing to neutralize terrorists in Idlib as tensions escalate between Moscow and Ankara over the protracted conflict.
Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Wednesday: “The Turkish side had taken upon itself an obligation to neutralize terrorist groups in Idlib under bilateral agreements.”
“But all these groups are mounting an attack on the Syrian army from Idlib and are acting aggressively towards Russian military installations”, he added.
Russia’s Defense Ministry has also expressed concern over the presence of Turkish forces and weaponry in Idlib, stressing that the presence of Turkish troops, as well as the transport of weapons and ammunition in the northwestern province, is making the situation there much worse.
“The real reason for the crisis in the Idlib de-escalation zone, unfortunately, is the non-fulfillment by our Turkish colleagues of their undertakings to separate moderate opposition militants from terrorists,” the Defense Ministry said in a statement on Wednesday.
It also said that the “statements by Turkish representatives about alleged attacks by Russian forces on civilians in the Idlib de-escalation zone do not correspond with reality”. The Defense Ministry’s statement came in reaction to Erdogan’s claim that Russian and Syrian pro-government forces were “constantly attacking the civilian people, carrying out massacres, spilling blood”.