European Union High Representative for Foreign Affairs Josep Borrell met with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in Ankara on March 4. Following the meeting, Borrell said he told Erdoğan that the situation at the border with Greece was "unacceptable."
One Turkish soldier was killed and another was wounded in shelling by Syrian government forces in Idlib, Turkish Defense Ministry said late on March 2.
German Chancellor Merkel has criticized Turkey's move to ease border restrictions and accused Turkish President Erdoğan of pressuring the EU “on the back of the refugees." Meanwhile, EU interior ministers will hold an extraordinary meeting on March 4 to discuss the situation at the EU's border.
Houses and business places of Syrian refugees in Turkey's Kahramanmaraş province have been attacked by a group of locals. The racially motivated attack came following the death of at least 34 soldiers in Syria's Idlib last week.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on March 2 said that the losses of the Syrian army "are just beginning," adding "If they do not withdraw to the lines Turkey has determined as soon as possible, they will not have a head left on their shoulders." He also said that the "the regime suffered one of its biggest losses" after last week's attack that killed 34 Turkish soldiers in Idlib.
The UN has said that actions of Turkey and Russia in Syria may amount to war crimes in a report covering the period from July 2019 to February 2020. The report called on Turkey to investigate whether it carried out an air strike on a civilian convoy near Ras al Ain that killed 11 people last October. Turkey has denied a role in the strike, which the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said was conducted by Turkish aircraft.
Russian President Vladimir Putin told Tass that Russia does not plan to go to war with anyone, but wants to dissuade other countries from engaging in conflict with Moscow. The publication of the remarks came amid rising tensions in Syria's Idlib region where Russia is backing Syrian government forces against Turkey.
A U.S. delegation arrived in Turkey on March 2 to hold talks on the situation in the embattled province of Idlib, Syria. During their visit, the U.S. delegation is expected to meet representatives of the UN and NGOs to discuss the humanitarian crisis of some one million refugees fleeing the clashes in Idlib.
Turkish security sources told Reuters that a Syrian refugee was shot dead by Greek border police on March 2, as he was trying to cross Turkey's western border -- a claim denied by Athens. Separately, the Greek coast guard said that one child died after being pulled from the seat when a boat capsized off the Greek island of Lesbos.
Over 60 intellectuals from Turkey have signed a petition calling for military retreat in Northern Syria and for troops to return home after 36 soldiers were killed in Idlib Feb. 27. Among the intellectuals are academics, authors, journalists and artists.
Iran's Foreign Ministry accused the United States of compromising the Astana peace process between Iran, Turkey and Russia in an official statement on Feb. 28. The statement also claimed that the U.S. "has always sought to create tensions in the region in an irresponsible manner" and that it justifies its presence in Syria with its interest in their oil resources.
Radar tracks 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.
The AKP, CHP, MHP and İYİ Party have issued a joint declaration condemning the attack that killed 33 Turkish soldiers on Feb. 27 in Syria's Idlib. The HDP was the only party in the Parliament that did not sign the declaration, saying that it does not find it right to sign it together with the ruling alliance of AKP and MHP, which it said has "the full political responsibility."
One Turkish soldier was killed and two were wounded in shelling by Syrian gov't forces in Idlib, Turkish Defense Ministry said on Feb. 28, a day after 33 Turkish soldiers were killed in the region.
Analyst Metin Gürcan has said that the attack which killed 33 Turkish soldiers in Idlib on Feb. 27 was carried out by Russian and Syrian jets "in coordinated action." Basing his report on local sources, Gürcan also wrote that the death toll is higher than what was announced by Ankara. “According to unconfirmed information obtained by Al-Monitor, the actual death toll is somewhere between 50 and 55,” he wrote.