Russia, Iran must block Assad regime attacks, says Turkish FM Çavuşoğlu
Stopping attacks by the Syrian regime is the responsibility of Russia and Iran as guarantor states of peace, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said on Sunday.
The Turkish foreign minister’s statement arrives hours after an Assad regime attack on a Turkish observation post in northwest Syria.
"Turkey won't tolerate Syrian regime harassment of its soldiers," state-run Anadolu news agency quoted Çavusoğlu as saying during a ceremony inaugurating a Foreign Ministry office in Turkey’s southern province of Hatay.
Turkish military on Saturday sent reinforcements to another observation post in Syria’s Idlib near Zawiya, which was targeted by regime forces last week, leaving three Turkish soldiers wounded.
The Syrian government forces "deliberately" attacked a Turkish observation post and Ankara contacted Russia on the matter, the Turkish Defence Ministry said in a statement on Sunday. The ministry also said it retaliated with heavy weapons.
The Russian military on Wednesday said Ankara and Moscow had brokered a complete ceasefire in Syria’s Idlib province between Syrian government forces and rebels.
The violence in Idlib province and a strip of nearby Hama has marked the biggest military escalation between President Bashar al-Assad and his insurgent enemies since last summer, Reuters reported.
Ankara and Moscow struck a deal in September to prevent a military assault of the Syrian government in Idlib, which hosts around 3 million internally displaced people. According to the deal, Turkey agreed to create a demilitarised buffer zone and remove extremist fighters such as those belonging to the Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS), formerly known as Nusra Front. Moscow has accused Turkey of failing to fulfill its part of the deal.