BEIRUT, LEBANON (9:20 P.M.) – Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has accused the Syrian government of violating the ceasefire regime in the Idlib Governorate to reduce the escalation, vowing that the authorities in Damascus to pay a heavy price if “violations” continue.
Erdogan said in a speech on Monday: “Turkey remains committed to the March 5 understanding with Russia regarding Idlib, but at the same time it will not tolerate the aggression of the (Syrian) regime.”
Erdogan continued: “If the Syrian regime continues to violate the cease-fire in Idlib, we will make it pay a heavy price.”
The Turkish president, referring to the Syrian authorities, continued: “We will not allow the dark groups to spoil the ceasefire in Idlib.”
Turkey announced, on March 1, the launching of a new military operation in the name of “Spring Shield” in Idlib against the Syrian government forces in response to the “attacks” of the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) on “Turkish military and civilians” in the region, which witnessed great tension between the two sides after repeated incidents, especially the killing 36 members of the Turkish forces.
On March 5, Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart reached a decision to prevent tension in Idlib, including declaring a ceasefire in the region, establishing a “safe passage” in specific areas on the M-4 Highway.