Turkey's opposition Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader reiterated that diplomatic and military responds are required to a Monday regime attack on Turkish troops in Syria.
“Using our political and diplomatic initiatives as well as our military deterrence to this end, we should make the life miserable for the enemies in Idlib and the surrounding area,” Devlet Bahceli said in a statement.
At least five Turkish soldiers, and one civil servant were martyred, while seven others injured in an intense shelling by forces of Bashar al-Assad regime in Idlib, northwestern Syria early Monday.
“The security of the observation points and the surroundings of the Turkish Armed Forces should be ensured, and Bashar al-Assad be regretted for his bloody attack.
"It is clear that Turkey is not the one who violates [cease-fire] agreement on Idlib,” Bahceli added.
Since 2016, Turkey has launched a trio of successful anti-terrorist operations across its border into northern Syria to prevent the formation of a terror corridor: Operations Euphrates Shield (2016), Olive Branch (2018), and Peace Spring (October 2019).
In September 2018, Turkey and Russia agreed to turn Idlib into a de-escalation zone in which acts of aggression are expressly prohibited. But, since then, over 1,300 civilians have been killed in attacks by the regime and Russian forces in the de-escalation zone as the cease-fire continues to be violated.
In a fresh move, Turkey announced on Jan. 10 that a new cease-fire in Idlib would start just after midnight on Jan. 12. But the regime and Iran-backed terrorist groups continued their attacks.