Syrian regime will pay ‘heavy price’ for any attack: Erdoğan
“The more they attack our soldiers, they heftier price they will pay,” he said at a ceremony.
“We gave the necessary responses to the Syrian side at the highest level. Especially in Idlib, they got what they deserved. But this is not enough, it will continue,” the president noted.
Confrontations between Turkey’s troops and Syrian regime forces have mounted after 13 Turkish soldiers in Idlib province were killed in the past week.
Five Turkish soldiers were killed in regime shelling in the Idlib region on Feb.10. Turkey responded with artillery fire on Syrian positions and said it had “neutralized” 101 Syrian regime soldiers in Idlib -- the last major rebel bastion.
The exchange was the second such clash in a week after eight Turks were killed in regime fire last week, which again prompted a military response from Turkey. Turkey has beefed up in recent days its observation posts in Idlib, which were set up under a 2018 deal with Russia -- the key backer of Assad.
Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, meanwhile, stated that the regime attacks in Idlib hurt Turkey’s partnership with Russia.
Speaking at a press conference with his Montenegrin counterpart Srdjan Darmanovic in the capital Podgorica, Çavuşoğlu stated, “There have been very important results from our cooperation until today, but the regime’s attacks in Idlib, killing civilians and attacking our soldiers, started to hurt this partnership.”
He said the Turkish and Russian presidents will have a phone call upon the developments in Idlib.
“We want to get a result with these talks. But let everyone know that yesterday we had five martyrs, and we will call [them] to account. No matter who is targeting our soldiers, we have done the necessary and will continue to do so,” he said.
Turkish and Russian delegations had two rounds of meetings in Ankara, but negotiations failed to yield a consensus.