Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan warned that the air campaign in Syria’s last terrorist-held province of Idlib could cause a “massacre,” in remarks published Wednesday.
“God forbid, a serious massacre could take place if there is a rain of missiles there,” Erdogan told journalists on his plane after an official visit to the Central Asian state of Kyrgyzstan, Hurriyet daily reported.
His comments come as Syrian troops mass near the northwestern region of Idlib for a major assault to liberate the norther province from terrorists.
Damascus and has vowed to root out the Takfiri groups that dominate Idlib province.
“Our cooperation with Russia now is very important. The United States sends the ball into the corner of Russia and Russia into the corner of the US,” the Turkish leader said.
Erdogan talked of a “very merciless process” unfolding in Idlib, warning of the risk that heavy fighting would trigger an influx of refugees.
“3.5 million people live there. God forbid, it is again Turkey where those people will flee in case of a disaster,” Erdogan said.
Erdogan as well as the presidents of Iran and Russia will meet on Friday in Tehran for a summit expected to focus on Idlib.
“God willing we will succeed in averting the extreme actions of the regime there by getting a positive result from the Tehran summit,” he said.
The UN Security Council is also due to meet Friday to address the situation in Idlib.