Turkey Says It Will Act Against Syrian Forces if Russia Cannot Control Them

'If Russia is unable to control the Assad regime from targeting us, we will not hesitate to take actions against any threat, just as we did today in Idlib,' Turkey's communication director said

Reuters
Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan speaks before departing to attend a NATO leader's summit in London, in Ankara, Turkey, December 3, 2019.
Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Ankara, December 3, 2019. Credit: AP

Turkey will not hesitate to act against Syrian forces if Russia is unable to control them, Turkey's communication director said on Monday, after Ankara said Syrian shelling killed five of its soldiers in the northwestern Idlib region.

President Tayyip Erdogan said earlier on Monday that Turkey will continue to retaliate, adding that Ankara had told Russia to "stand aside" in the conflict. Ankara backs rebels fighting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, whereas Moscow supports Assad's forces.

"The Assad regime's attack on our forces is the latest example of its cowardly actions in northern Syria," Fahrettin Altun said on Twitter. "If Russia is unable to control the Assad regime from targeting us, we will not hesitate to take actions against any threat, just as we did today in Idlib," he added.