Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Saturday said that Turkey has “no intention to invade or annex the Syrian territory”.
Speaking at an event of his ruling party in Istanbul, President Erdogan further added that the problem in Idlib, the last rebel-held stronghold in Syria, would not be resolved until the government forces are drawn to the limits set by the Sochi deal, Xinhua reported.
“Otherwise, we will handle it before the end of February,” the Turkish president noted.
Earlier in the day, Turkey’s Directorate of Communications took to Twitter, saying “Erdogan and US President Donald Trump exchanged views over the phone on ending the crisis in Idlib as soon as possible”.
The two leaders agreed that the attacks of the Syrian government forces against the Turkish soldiers in Idlib were unacceptable.
On January 18, Erdogan addressing to the media in Istanbul and said, “It is a clear proof that the Syrian regime does not comply with the steps we have taken regarding the cease-fire” while referring to the latest airstrikes carried out by the Syrian forces in Idlib, the country’s last rebel-stronghold province.
Earlier, the Syrian regime and Iranian-backed groups also launched a ground offensive in Aleppo province, a designated de-escalation zone, forcing at least 13,000 more civilians to move toward Turkey’s border.
The war in Libya, where Turkey is sending troops in support of the UN-recognized Government of National Accord, and the conflict in Syria, where Ankara and Moscow are both militarily involved, are also set to dominate the summit as well.
Turkey launched a cross-border assault on Kurdish fighters after the US decided to withdraw troops from Syria, a move that was criticised by the Republicans, with some terming it a “betrayal” of the Kurds.
The Syrian army entered the city of Tabqa in the northern countryside of Raqqa province, as part of its move to enter Kurdish-held areas to counter the ongoing Turkish assault in the region.
More than 50 people, including civilians, have been killed last week as the Turkish offensive in Syria, which was launched by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan aimed at pushing the Kurdish forces away from its border.