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, where 13 soldiers have been killed in just over a week, prompting a retaliation.
“They will pay a very heavy price as they attack our soldiers,” Erdoğan said on Feb. 11, adding that the country responded to the Syrian side “at the highest level.”
“Especially in Idlib, they got what they deserved. But this is not enough, it will continue,” Erdoğan said on Feb. 11, adding he would announce on Feb. 12 a detailed plan on how to handle developments in Idlib.
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu also commented on the Syrian army attack that killed five Turkish soldiers on Feb. 10, saying that Russia and Iran must halt the Syrian army, especially in the ceasefire zone.
“Despite declaring a ceasefire, the regime again stepped up its aggression on Jan. 12, especially with the air support provided by those who support the regime,” Çavuşoğlu said in a joint press conference with his Montenegrin counterpart Srdjan Darmanovic in the capital Podgorica on Feb. 11.
Later in the day, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov announced that Erdoğan and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin will discuss the issue in a phone call.
U.S. embassy in Ankara, meanwhile, has called for an immediate ceasefire, as it also slammed Russia, Iran, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and Lebanese Hezbollah.
“The destabilizing actions of Russia, the Iranian regime, Hizballah & the Assad regime are hindering the establishment of a nationwide ceasefire in Syria as called for an UNSCR 2254 & the safe return of hundreds of thousands of displaced persons in northern Syria to their homes,” it said on Feb. 11.
“We call for an immediate ceasefire and full access to the affected areas by humanitarian organizations to alleviate the suffering of the hundreds of thousands that have fled the incessant bombing,” it added.