Turkey, World

Erdogan to Putin: Syria chemical attack 'unacceptable'

Turkish president says deadly gas attack in Idlib attack was 'inhuman'

04.04.2017
Erdogan to Putin: Syria chemical attack 'unacceptable' IDLIB, SYRIA - APRIL 4: A man gets treatment at a hospital after Assad Regime forces attacked with chlorine gas to Khan Shaykhun town of Idlib, Syria on April 4, 2017. ( Mohammed Karkas - Anadolu Agency )

By Baris Gundogan

ANKARA

Chemical attacks on Syrian opposition-held Idlib were “inhuman” and “unacceptable”, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan told his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin on Tuesday.

According to the Turkish presidency, Erdogan held a telephone conversation with the Russian leader to discuss Tuesday’s incident.

More than 100 civilians were killed and 500 others, mostly children, have been affected by the chlorine gas attack carried out by regime warplanes in Khan Shaykun town in Idlib, the Syrian interim government's health minister, Firas Jundi, said earlier.

“These kind of inhuman attacks are unacceptable,” Erdogan told Putin.

Both leaders stressed the need to strengthen cooperation in the fight against terrorism

They also agreed further efforts should be taken to maintain the fragile Syrian ceasefire.

Idlib attack is 'crime against humanity': Turkish FM

Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu has described a deadly chemical attack in northern Syria as “a crime against humanity”.

Speaking in Turkey's western province of Isparta on Tuesday, Cavusoglu said women and children were among the dead in Syria's northwestern Idlib province.

The use of chlorine gas has been blamed on the Syrian regime.

"This is a crime against humanity and there should be a punishment for this. But I am sure that the Western world which tries to teach human rights but showed impassivity when the red line was crossed before will try to cover this up again too," Cavusoglu said.

He said it was not the first such chemical attack by the Syrian regime.

A cease-fire brokered by Turkey and Russia came into effect in Syria late last year.

Last year, a UN-appointed investigation panel found that chemical weapons had been used by regime forces and opposition fighters in 2014 and 2015. However, no actionable steps were taken.

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