Radar showed that Syrian and Russian forces were flying in formation during the attack that killed at least 36 Turkish soldiers in Syria's Idlib province on Feb. 27, Permanent Representative of Turkey Ambassador Feridun Sinirlioğlu said on Friday. "Turkish forces were alone in that area. The logical conclusion of that is that they were deliberately targeted," he said, disputing the Russian narrative.
Speaking at the United Nations Security Council Meeting on the "Situation in the Middle East" on Feb. 28, Ambassador Sinirlioğlu asked the United Nations and the international community to help Turkey in Northern Syria to "avoid repercussions on a wider scale."
Turkey won't hesitate to retaliate by all means
"Any provocation and harassment will be retaliated against by all means. If they want to learn the hard way, they will," said Feridun H. Sinirlioğlu. "Turkey will not hesitate to use force if and when its security is threatened."
Turkey has been "displaying utmost restraint to avoid a direct military confrontation," Sinirlioğlu emphasized, but the situation in Northern Syria has escalated to a point of "a fight between right and wrong."
"What we want from you is not your gratitude only. We want you to share this responsibility. The fate of millions of civilians is our joint responsibility," Sinirlioğlu said in reference to what he estimated to be five million civilians in northern Syria who could be affected by the on-going conflict.
'Repercussions on a wider scale'
On the same day, Turkey declared that it would allow migrants to cross its borders to Europe, with the official explanation that the country is now anticipating a second wave of displaced civilians from northern Syria.
The international community should not remain indifferent to a potential displacement of Idlib civilians, Sinirlioğlu said, echoing the Ankara rhetoric behind the opening of the border.
"Otherwise, there will be repercussions on a much wider scale across Europe, in the region and beyond."
'Turkish forces were deliberately targeted'
According to Sinirlioğlu, the targeted Turkish convoy was not surrounded by any other military traffic, meaning it could not have been mistaken for a rebel attack as the Russian Defense Ministry claimed.
"Turkish forces that were attacked were alone in that area. The logical conclusion of this is that they were deliberately targeted," Sinirlioğlu said.
Ankara and Russian forces had written communication about the location of the convoy, Sinirlioğlu noted, adding that the attack continued despite a warning right after the first round of fire.Idlib attack on Turkish troops was carried out despite coordination with Russia, Turkey says
Radar showed that Syrian and Russian forces were flying in formation during the attack, Sinirlioğlu said.
In military aviation, formation flying refers to two or more aircraft traveling and maneuvering together in a disciplined, synchronized, and predetermined manner.
"We have made clear to the Russian side once again that we will not abandon our observations posts and we will continue our military reinforcements."