Turkey not satisfied with Idlib process: Erdoğan
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has stressed that Turkey is not satisfied with the current state of developments in the Idlib province of Syria just days after his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin and said he will hold talks on the same matter with U.S.President Donald Trump in September at the UN General Assembly.
“It would be a lie if we would suggest that developments in regards to Idlib are as desired. They are not the way we want,” Erdoğan told reporters on Aug 30.
Erdoğan paid a one-day visit to Russia on Aug. 27 to discuss the recent escalation in the Idlib province after Russia-backed regime forces launched a massive campaign against the terrorists within the enclave. A Turkish military convoy bound for Morek region of the southern Idlib where Turkey has a military observation post was hit by the Syrian army and killed three civilians.
Turkey called on Russia to let the Syrian regime stop its offensive, and Erdoğan’s visit was made with the hope of getting this done. But Erdoğan’s statement on Aug. 30 showed the disappointment in Ankara.
Recalling that two Turkish military observations posts were attacked by the regime, Erdoğan said necessary warnings have been made by Russia who has assured that Turkish troops will be safe and untouched.
As a result of regime attacks, thousands of people had to leave their homes and started to move towards the Turkish border, the president said, underlining that Turkey is taking all the necessary measures to this end.
Ceasefire in Idlib
Meanwhile, Syrian government forces unilaterally ceasefired in the de-escalation zone in Syria's Idlib region on Aug. 31 morning, Russia's defense ministry was quoted by TASS news agency as saying on Aug. 30.
The ministry also urged armed militant groups in the region to join the ceasefire, according to Interfax news agency.
The Turkish president said he agreed to discuss all these issues with U.S. President Trump in New York on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly during a phone conversation between the two.
Turkey and the United States are in talks to set up a safe zone in northeastern Syria, Erdoğan recalled, informing that his conversation with Trump covered these talks and an earlier bilateral agreement on the withdrawal of the YPG troops from Manbij province of Syria.
Message on SU-57
President Erdoğan did respond about whether Turkey would purchase SU-57 aircraft from Russia as he discussed the issue with Putin on Aug. 27.
Erdoğan recalled the U.S. decision to exclude Turkey from the F-35 aircraft project and hinted that it could choose the Russian equipment if Washington does not change its mind.