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Turkish President Recep Tayip Erdogan (Photo Credit: Presidential Press Service via AP, Pool)

Ankara could take unilateral action in the Syrian region of Idlib unless the agreements with Russia are implemented, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said in Istanbul on Sunday.

“We retain the right to clear that site in our own way in case the promise given to us about the location of Operation Spring Shield [in Idlib] is not kept. We reached an agreement [with Russia] to resolve the Idlib crisis without any further bloodshed. If not, we will be going on along the path we have set for ourselves,” Erdogan said aired by NTV channel.

Apart from that, he said that at least 59 Turkish troops had been killed in that Syrian region over the past month.

Erdogan claimed that the Turkish military “have neutralized 3,400 troops of the [Syrian] regime” in Idlib.

At the talks in Moscow on March 5, the Russian and Turkish presidents, Vladimir Putin and Recep Tayyip Erdogan, agreed a ceasefire along with other measures aimed at resolving the crisis in Syria’s Idlib region. Under the agreements, fighting should be stopped along the entire contact line after ceasefire comes into effect on March 6. Starting on March 15, Russia and Turkey are to start jointly patrolling the area along the M4 highway, where a security corridor will be established. Moscow and Ankara reiterated commitment to Syria’s sovereignty and agreed to continue fight against terrorism.

Source: TASS, March 8, 2020