Turkey’s Bahçeli calls for land and air operation in Idlib

Turkey’s Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahçeli called for a swift land and air operation to be launched in Syria’s Idlib province, reported the state-run Anadolu news agency on Friday

His statement came after reports that shelling by Syrian government forces and Russian aerial bombardment killed dozens of Turkish soldiers in Idlib late on Thursday.

Bahçeli, whose ultranationalist MHP is in a de-facto alliance with the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), said that using force had become a necessity and that his party would support Turkish military action in Syria regardless of the price. 

He railed against the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad, which is engaged in a military advance to retake the last rebel held province of Idlib in northwest Syria, and labelled Syria’s ally Russia as “cruel collaborators with the killer Assad”.

The deepening crisis in Idlib “threatens our national survival at the highest level,” stated Bahçeli.

Bahçeli said that an attack on Turkey was an attack on NATO, and also called for the border between Turkey and the Idlib province to be opened.