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13:33, 21 October 2017 Saturday
22:21, 08 October 2017 Sunday

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Erdoğan: Idlib action continues 'without any problem
Erdoğan: Idlib action continues 'without any problem

Turkey will not be allowed to be 'cornered by threats from Syria and Iraq', the president adds

Worldbulletin/ News Desk

The steps taken in Syria's western Idlib province are continuing "without any problem", President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Sunday.

On Saturday, Turkish military deployed fully-equipped commando units along its border with Syria after the president hinted at further steps to secure Idlib.

The Free Syrian Army (FSA) is currently engaged in the area which is under the control of anti-regime armed groups and some opposition groups.

Speaking in the Aegean province of Afyonkarahisar, Erdogan said: "The process, which began yesterday and was implemented this morning, is continuing without any problem. “The efforts there [in Idlib] are continuing smoothly with our support for the Free Syrian Army."

The action in Idlib comes after guarantor countries -- Russia, Turkey, and Iran -- agreed to establish de-escalation zones in Syria during a meeting in Kazakh capital Astana on May 4.

After intensive negotiations between Turkey, which backs the Syrian opposition, and the guarantor of the regime, Russia, the deal came to the implementation phase.

Erdogan also said Turkey would not be allowed to be "cornered by threats from Syria and Iraq". He also clarified that Turkey’s moves were not an intervention into the domestic affairs of a country. "We are not intervening in the domestic affairs of any country. We are just trying to secure our own home affairs... How safe we can be when there is chaos in Syria?"

Referring to around 3 million Syrian refugees in Turkey, he asked: "Can we escape from the results of developments in Syria?" Syria has remained locked in a vicious civil war since early 2011, when the Bashar al-Assad regime cracked down on pro-democracy protests with unexpected ferocity.

The president reiterated that his country would not "allow" any "terror corridor" on its southern borders. "If we allow it, we may have new Kobanis," he warned and added: "We do not want to have any other Kobani [incident], and we will not let it happen again." The president was referring to the Syrian border town of Kobani that had sparked protests in Turkey in October 2014 when it was under siege of Daesh.

 



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