U.S. President Donald Trump said that his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdoğan was trying his best to avert a humanitarian catastrophe in Idlib, the White House said in a readout.
“He doesn’t want people to be killed by the thousands and hundreds of thousands, and he called me about that and other reasons,” Trump said, referring to the Turkish president.
The Syrian government, supported by Russia, has its offensive on the last major rebel-held enclave of Idlib, which is home to 3 million people, including hundreds of thousands displaced from elsewhere in the country.
Earlier, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called the results of negotiations with Syria over Idlib as “unsatisfactory.” However, the Turkish leader indicated that Ankara’s military operation in the north-west of the Arab Republic is just a “matter of time”.
Russia responded by saying that Turkey’s possible military operation in the Syrian province of Idlib would be the worst scenario. This was stated by Russian Presidential Spokesman Dmitry Peskov.
The Kremlin spokesman added that “if it is an operation against Syria’s legitimate authorities and armed forces, it will definitely be the worst scenario.”
Russia will continue contacts with Turkey in order to prevent the situation in Idlib from escalating further, according to Peskov. “We are determined to continue to use our working contacts with our Turkish counterparts to prevent the situation in Idlib from escalating further,” he said.