Trump says Erdoğan trying to avoid tragedy in Idlib
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is seeking to ensure a humanitarian catastrophe does not befall northwest Syria's Idlib province, U.S. President Donald Trump said on Feb. 18.
"He’s fighting on Idlib," Trump told reporters before boarding Air Force One. "He doesn’t want people to be killed by the thousands, and hundreds of thousands."
Trump said Washington and Ankara are "working together" to determine what can be done amid a Syrian regime offensive backed by Russia and Iran. The U.N. said has led to the displacement of 900,000 people already.
"You have a lot of warring going on right now, a lot of warring going on, but I am dealing with President Erdoğan," Trump said.
Mark Lowcock, the U.N.'s humanitarian affairs chief, said Monday that "indiscriminate" violence in the region reached "a horrifying new level" since the regime offensive began in December and he demanded the Security Council to take action to avoid catastrophe of historic proportions.
"The biggest humanitarian horror story of the 21st century will only be avoided if Security Council members, and those with influence, overcome individual interests and put a collective stake in humanity first. The only option is a ceasefire," he said.