Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said he asked his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin to withdraw his support for the Syrian “regime.”
According to the Daily Sabah newspaper, Erdogan said this during a speech to the deputies of the ruling Justice and Development Party at a meeting in Istanbul. He explained that he demanded that Putin leave Turkey “one-on-one” with the Syrian authorities, effectively pushing the Russian leader to treason.
“I asked Putin to leave Turkish troops alone to fight the regime,” Erdogan said.
According to him, he passed this request to his Russian counterpart during a telephone conversation on February 28. At the same time, he did not recall that the Turkish army is fighting in Syria not “one” but together with militants of terrorist groups.
But he told the crowd that Turkey had opened its borders with the European Union for Syrian refugees.
“We have long said that we are not obliged to accept such a number of refugees. You promised to help us, but you do nothing, and yesterday we opened our borders,” RIA Novosti quoted Erdogan as saying.
He noted that 18,000 refugees have already passed, and on Saturday this number could reach 25-30,000. According to the Turkish leader, this should help the European Union “keep its word.”
Recall that as a result of Syrian airstrikes the day before, February 27, in the Syrian province of Idlib killed 33 Turkish soldiers. In response to The Turkish Armed Forces on Friday night, airstrikes and ground strike hit positions of government forces in Damascus. In connection with this aggravation, the UN called on Russia and Turkey to ensure a ceasefire in Idlib.
As reported by EADaily, speaking at the UN Security Council, Russian Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia said that the Syrian army has every right to respond to terrorist strikes on its territory.