Moscow expects Ankara to ensure the safety of all Russians who work in Turkey, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters. "We have no doubt that the Turkish authorities will take the necessary measures to ensure the safety of the Russian envoy and all embassy staff members," Peskov said. Turkish officials have reportedly increased security at the Russian Embassy in Ankara in the wake of threats addressed to Ambassador Alexey Yerkhov.
Russian Foreign Ministry has warned Turkey to refrain from provocative statements on Idlib, days after MHP leader Devlet Bahçeli directed accusations toward Moscow. "We believe that in the context of the tense situation in the northwest of Syria, it is worth exercising restraint and in particular refraining from provocative comments that do not contribute to a constructive dialogue between our countries," the ministry said.
The German economy ministry said in its answer to a recent parliamentary question that the government has authorized arms exports to Turkey, Qatar, the UAE and Egypt worth 4.3 million euros during the period of Jan. 1 – Feb. 4. The Left Party’s ("Die Linke") MP Sevim Dağdelen has criticized Germany's move, saying: “Arms exports to countries involved in the Libya war should completely end.”
Syria's parliament has backed a resolution condemning the mass killings of Armenians by the Ottoman Turks in 1915 as genocide, in a move that came amid increased tensions between Ankara and Damascus in Idlib. In the past, Syria allowed the recognition of the genocide inside the country, but the government did not officially recognize it due to ties with Ankara.
Turkey will send additional troops to Syria's Idlib in order for the establishment of a ceasefire, the country's Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said. "Those who don't comply with the ceasefire, including the radicals, will be hit and all precautions will be taken," he said. "Our observation posts that we have reinforced will continue to play an important role on monitoring the situation on the field," he added.
Tensions in Idlib were carried to social media, as the embassies of the United States and Russia shared tweets that featured accusations towards one another. "The judgement is up to," the tweet sent from the Russian side read on Feb. 12, as it featured a screen grab from a video prepared by the U.S. Embassy in Ankara, in addition to an infographic prepared by Turkey's state-run Anadolu Agency regarding the Pentagon's support for the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) and its Syrian affiliate, the YPG.
The Pentagon has denied that a deal was reached between Turkey and the U.S. regarding Idlib. "No such agreement was made," Voice of America's Pentagon correspondent Carla Babb said on Feb. 12, citing Alyssa Farah, the chief Pentagon spokeswoman. Babb also said that reports of a closed door meeting between Turkish Defense Minister Akar and his U.S. counterpart Esper is false.
Turkey's Defense Ministry said on Feb. 12 that its forces had killed 55 Syrian regime soldiers in Idlib, in a significant escalation in the battle to control the country’s last opposition stronghold. Turkey's move comes in the wake of an attack by regime forces earlier this week that claimed the lives of five Turkish troops.
Turkish Cypriot President Akıncı's spokesman Burcu said that after Turkish Foreign Minister Çavuşoğlu went as far as branding Akıncı a “supporter of terrorism” over his remarks on the prospect of annexation by Turkey, there have been death threats against the Turkish Cypriot leader even on television programs in Turkey. “What happened recently has once again show how right our President is,” said Burcu in a written statement on Feb. 11.
Russia has said that the situation in Syria's Idlib was being aggravated by the flow of Turkish troops into the province. "The situation is aggravated by the flow of arms and ammunition into the de-escalation zone across the Turkish-Syrian border, as well as columns of Turkish armored vehicles and troops entering Syria's province of Idlib," the Russian Defense Ministry said in a press release on Feb. 12.
Turkish military will strike Syrian government forces by air or ground "anywhere" in Syria if another Turkish soldier is hurt, Turkish President Tayyip Erdoğan said on Feb. 12. Erdoğan also said Turkey was determined to push the Syrian troops beyond Turkish observation posts in Idlib by the end this month.
Turkish Presidential Spokesperson İbrahim Kalın and U.S. Special Envoy for Syria James Jeffrey highlighted during their meeting on Feb. 12 that Idlib deal must be upheld and the Syrian regime attacks need to stop as soon possible for a political solution process to be initiated in the war-torn country, according to a statement released by the Turkish presidency.
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and U.S. Special Envoy for Syria James Jeffrey have extended their condolences to Turkey following a Syrian army attack that killed five Turkish soldiers in Idlib. "The ongoing assaults by the Assad regime and Russia must stop. I've sent Jim Jeffrey to Ankara to coordinate steps to respond to this destabilizing attack. We stand by our NATO Ally #Turkey," Pompeo said on Twitter.
Damascus has said that it "categorically rejects" Turkish presence on Syrian soil. "Syria reaffirms its categorical rejection of any Turkish presence on the Syrian territory, as it constitutes a flagrant violation of the international law and a blatant aggression on the Syrian sovereignty," it said.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has said that the Syrian government will pay a "heavy price" for attacking Turkish troops in northwest Syria's Idlib region. "They will pay a very heavy price as they attack our soldiers," Erdoğan said. "Especially in Idlib, they got what they deserved. But this is not enough, it will continue," he added.