On February 12, Turkish President Recep Erdogan blamed Russia for the “bloodbaths” occurring while it supports the Assad regime, Radio Liberty reports.
The Turkish leader is threatening to destroy the forces of the Syrian regime “everywhere”, if Turkish soldiers are subjected to new attacks.
“The regime backed by Russian forces and pro-Iranian militants is constantly attacking peaceful civilians, carrying out mass killings and shedding blood,” said Erdogan during a meeting with members of Turkey’s ruling party.
Moscow, in turn, blames Turkey for “failing to neutralize the terrorists” in the north-western Syrian province of Idlib, the final refuge of the rebels who have been opposing the Assad regime since 2011. The Russian Defense Ministry claims that the presence of Turkish troops and armored vehicles in Idlib makes the situation there far worse.
Ankara has recently reinforced its position in Idlib with hundreds of military vehicles, which have brought in artillery and soldiers.
In the last nine days, Turkey has lost 14 soldiers, and in response claims to have killed more than 100 Syrian soldiers fighting for Assad.