Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan warned the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) on June 14 of launching any attacks on Turkish observation posts around Syria’s Idlib and vowed that Ankara will respond to any such offinsive.
“If the regime attacks more Turkish observation points and continues to take such missteps, we cannot remain silent,” Erdogan told reporters in Istanbul before departing for Tajikistan to attend the Fifth Summit of Heads of State of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA), according to the Daily Sabah.
The Turkish President went on to call the ongoing Syrian-Russian aerial campaign on Greater Idlib “inexcusable,” saying that Turkey is listening to the voice of the people in the region, who are “asking Ankara to intervene against the bloodshed.”
A day earlier, four Turkish soldiers were slightly injured in a mortar attack on an observation post south of Idlib. Turkey held the SAA responsible for the attack. However, the Ministry of Defense of Russia denied these claims and revealed that its warplanes hit the militants responsible for the attack upon an official request from Ankara.
Erdogan’s threat confirms that Turkey is trying to take advantage of the incident to increase the pressure on Damascus and force it to hold its anti-terrorist operation in Idlib. Ankara may even use such attacks as a pretext to launch strikes on SAA positions around Idlib. Such a development could lead to a dangerous military confrontation.