U.S. bombings in Idlib killed 700 in last two days - Erdogan
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said plans for the safe zone to be established along the Turkish border in Syrian territory were not progressing despite the agreement reached with the United States, and spoke further about developments in the war-torn country.
“When we say ‘Let’s go,’ we can’t find anybody to take action. The safe zone is left only in name,” said Erdoğan in a press briefing on Tuesday.
“Idlib is slowly disappearing, like Aleppo was torn to the ground,” said President Erdoğan.
Erdoğan continued to say that the U.S. bombings in Idlib last two days have killed some 700 civilians in the area. “However the U.S. got involved with the bombings activities within last two days unfortunately, and the fact that there are 700 civilians killed here. There may be militants with ties to terrorism as well as civilians,” he said.
The strategically important town of Khan Sheikhoun in the Idlib province had been captured by Syrian regime forces on August 11, which also resulted in Turkish troops in the region to be trapped.
Russia expert Kerim Has spoke to Ahval Turkish and said Turkey’s observation point no.9 had come under the regime’s control.
“Turkish troops, who had entered Idlib to protect civilians from regime attacks, became hostages to the regime and attempted to keep their prestige intact by asking for help from Russian troops,” said Has, and added that Turkey was escorted out of the observation point no.9 by Russia.
In the press briefing, President Erdoğan also spoke about the European Union’s refugee policies and said Turkey invested 40 billion dollars, whereas the EU fell short of three billion euros. “They keep stalling,” he said.
“The offer [of a safe zone] had been on the table in Mr. Obama’s term, and I proposed the safe zone matter to Mr. Trump as well,” said Erdoğan on Tuesday. The Turkish president added that Germany, France and Saudi Arabia agreed that the proposal was good, but haven’t taken any action.
Erdoğan detailed his vision of the safe zone as a 30 km-deep area along the whole of the Turkish border, with housing projects constructed by Turkish companies. The houses to be built would have gardens and refugees to be resettled in the area would be able to grow their own food.