Turkey, Politics

Attack on Syria's Idlib would be 'disaster': Turkish FM

'Turkey is trying to prevent an attack on Idlib,' says Turkish FM

31.08.2018
Attack on Syria's Idlib would be 'disaster': Turkish FM Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu

ANKARA 

Turkey is very much concerned over a possible attack on Idlib, the last major rebel stronghold in Syria, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said Friday.

Speaking to reporters ahead of a meeting of EU and candidate countries' foreign ministers, Cavusoglu said: "Turkey is trying to prevent an attack on Syria's Idlib, which would be a disaster."

Located near the Turkish border, Idlib in May was designated as a de-escalation zone where acts of aggression are expressly forbidden as part of the ongoing Astana process.

Nevertheless, for the past two months, the Idlib de-escalation zone has been the target of particular fierce airstrikes by Russia and Assad regime forces.


Purchase of Russian missile defense systems 

Cavusoglu also responded to a question over Turkey's purchase of Russian S-400 missile defense systems.

"Turkey bought the Russian S-400 missile defense system. Period. There will be no more arguments on that. Turkey needs the systems urgently," Cavusoglu added.

Last December, Turkey announced it had concluded an agreement with Russia for the purchase of two S-400 systems by early 2020.

This April both parties agreed on early delivery of the systems.

The S-400 is Russia's most advanced long-range anti-aircraft missile system, with the ability to carry three types of missiles capable of destroying targets, including ballistic and cruise missiles.

In June, the U.S. Senate passed a bill prohibiting sales to Turkey of F-35 jets, citing the S-400 purchase as well as Turkey’s detention of U.S. citizens.

Speaking about relations between Turkey and the U.S., Cavusoglu said: "The U.S. president does not only have problems with Turkey, but also he has problems with every EU member country."

Reporting by Askin Kiyagan:Writing by Faruk Zorlu

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