Ankara vows retaliation if Syrian govt violates Idlib ceasefire

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Syrian President Bashar al-Assad as seen in Damascus, Syria November 14, 2017. SANA/Handout via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS PICTURE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. REUTERS IS UNABLE TO INDEPENDENTLY VERIFY THE AUTHENTICITY, CONTENT, LOCATION OR DATE OF THIS IMAGE. FOR NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS. - RC14ED86E670
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Ankara – Turkey’s Foreign Minister, Mevlut Cavusoglu, on Tuesday warned that his country will retaliate if Syrian government forces violate the Idlib ceasefire deal.

Speaking with Turkey’s Anadolu news agency, the foreign minister said the ceasefire would help protect civilians in the militant-controlled Syrian province.

Commenting on the details of the Russia-brokered ceasefire in Idlib, Cavusoglu said that under its terms, the Turkish military would patrol north of the security corridor along the strategic M4 highway.

He added that Russian forces would also be patrolling its southern side.

Cavusoglu also commented on the Turkish request for the deployment of U.S. Patriot missile systems along the country’s southern borders.

According to the foreign minister, Turkey’s possession of Russian-made S-400 missile systems were “not an obstacle” to the deployment of the U.S. systems.

On Monday, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan told reporters that he had asked Turkey’s NATO allies for “additional assistance on Syria for the defence of the border, and in connection with the migration challenge’’.

President Donald Trump of U.S. revealed on March 1 that he had been speaking with his Turkish counterpart about Ankara’s request for Patriot missile systems amid the situation in Idlib.

Earlier, U.S. Ambassador to Turkey, David Satterfield, said these discussions were still ongoing.

In his interview, Cavusoglu said the U.S. has already provided Turkey with land, sea and air intelligence on Idlib.

(Sputnik/NAN)


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