80,000 migrants from Syria's Idlib marching to Turkey, says Erdoğan
Over 80,000 migrants from Syria's northwestern province of Idlib have begun migrating toward the country’s border with Turkey, which is home to over 3.6 million Syrian refugees, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said Sunday.
Turkey will not bear the burden of this migration alone, state-run Anadolu news agency quoted Erdoğan as saying at an event in Istanbul’s Dolmabahçe Palace.
Ankara and Moscow agreed last year to establish a de-escalation zone in Idlib, the last major rebel-held enclave in war-torn Syria, where hundreds of thousands of people who fled from other parts of the country have relocated.
Russia maintains Turkey has failed to keep its promise to clear the area of what it labels extremist rebels. Provoked by the expansion of territory of the Al-Qaeda-linked Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) following the signing of the agreement, Moscow-backed Syrian government forces launched in April an offensive in the region.
More than 1,300 civilians have been killed in the de-escalation zone since the agreement was signed.
Turkey along with Russia are exerting efforts to end the attacks in Idlib, Erdoğan said, adding that Ankara will send a delegation for discussions to Moscow on Monday.
"We will determine the steps we will take according to the results," the Turkish president said.