Türkİye, World, Middle East

Turkey condemned Russia's Idlib attack: FM

Mevlut Cavusoglu says capturing Idlib carries serious risk, would be disastrous

Fatih Hafız Mehmet  | 05.09.2018 - Update : 06.09.2018
Turkey condemned Russia's Idlib attack: FM Minister of Foreign Affairs of Turkey, Mevlut Cavusoglu (R) and German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas (L) hold a joint press conference in Ankara, Turkey on September 05, 2018. ( Fatih Aktaş - Anadolu Agency )


By Fatih Hafız Mehmet


Turkey conveyed to Russia its condemnation of a recent attack in Syria's Idlib, Turkey’s foreign minister said on Wednesday.

"After the attack, our institutions [Turkish and Russian] contacted each other. We told them that this is wrong," Mevlut Cavusoglu said at a news conference with his German counterpart Heiko Maas.

The attacks are aimed at "capturing Idlib", which Cavusoglu said "carries a serious risk" and "would be disastrous from many angles".

"[The] regime's desire to attack and capture Idlib is clear," he added.

Cavusoglu said Russia and Iran are Assad regime's guarantors and Turkey keeps contacts with these two countries.

He said Turkey did not bring radical groups to Idlib and questioned why those groups were brought to Idlib with their weapons from Aleppo, Eastern Ghouta and Homs. 

"The plan was clear from the start. These groups will go there and then, by pretending the existence of those groups there, it [Assad regime] will attack to capture it," Cavusoglu explained.

He added that Turkey and Germany's position on Syria and other issues overlap.

Maas said those who will flee from Idlib should be helped. "We talked how we can help. Turkey is our important partner on this issue," he said.

Maas also said Germany supports Turkey in the summit in Tehran and it has a strategic interest in having constructive relations with Turkey. 

Russian warplanes on Tuesday pounded civilian and opposition targets in Idlib.

Located near the Turkish border, Idlib is home to more than 3 million Syrians, many of whom fled from other cities following attacks by regime forces.

The Syrian regime has recently announced plans to launch a major military offensive to the area, which is controlled by various armed opposition groups.

On Tuesday, the UN’s humanitarian chief Mark Lowcock warned such an offensive would lead to the "worst humanitarian catastrophe in the 21st century".

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Russian President Vladimir Putin, and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani are scheduled to meet in Tehran on Friday for a trilateral summit on Syria.

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