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    'We Will Support Neither US Nor Assad if US Launches a Strike' - Turkish MP

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    Commenting on a possible US missile strike on Syria, Mehmet Metiner of Turkey's ruling Justice and Development Party, has told Sputnik that as far as Ankara is concerned, it should tread carefully on the issue.

    Turkish Justice and Development Party member Mehmet Metiner linked the current events in the region to attempts by certain forces "to deal a blow to the interaction between Russia, Iran and Turkey."

    "Apparently, someone is concerned about Russia strengthening its positions in Syria and its role as a regional player as part of Moscow's successful alliance with Turkey and Iran. It may be an attempt to undermine the work in this format. In this regard, Turkey should pursue a very balanced and cautious policy," Metiner pointed out.

    READ MORE: NATO Calls on Syria to Provide Observers' Access to Alleged Chemical Attack Site

    He made it plain that in the event of a US missile strike on Syria, Ankara "will take the side of neither Washington nor [Syrian President Bashar] Assad."

    "We have very good relations with Russia, we are allies with the US within NATO. So we will not participate in any initiative that could harm Turkey through the prism of Russian-American tension. Ankara should first of all take into account its own priorities and take steps in accordance with them," Metiner stressed.

    Speaking to Sputnik, Engin Altay of Turkey's opposition Republican People's Party, said in turn that Ankara should act as an activist contributing to maintaining peace in the region.

    READ MORE: Not in My Name, Theresa May: Social Media Users Oppose UK Strikes in Syria

    "This task will not be resolved if we pursue an inconsistent foreign policy and use provocative rhetoric, which we often see in statements made by the authorities. It is necessary to use the levers of diplomacy and strengthen interaction with neighboring regional states, "Altay said.

    He underlined that when "pursuing its regional policy, Turkey should mainly focus on the importance of [preserving] Syria's territorial integrity and initiating diplomatic moves aimed to stabilize the situation in the region."

    Trump's Controversial Tweets

    The two MPs' remarks came after President Donald Trump responded to the alleged chemical weapons attack in Syria's Douma by writing on his Twitter page that Russia should get ready to for "new and smart" US missiles.  The remarks were followed by Trump tweeting that Washington's relations with Moscow were worse "than during the Cold War."

    READ MORE: How Russia-Iran-Turkey Summit Upsets US-Led Coalition Efforts to Split Syria Up

    In his latest tween on the matter, Trump stated that an American strike in retaliation to an alleged chemical attack in Douma on April 7 could be "very soon or not soon at all."

    Addressing Trump's "get ready tweet, the Russian President's spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that Moscow "does not support Twitter diplomacy" and called for a more serious approach so as to avoid escalating an "already fragile situation."

    On April 7, Syrian opposition media outlets claimed that the country's government forces had used chemical weapons against civilians in the city of Douma in Eastern Ghouta. The allegations were supported by the White Helmets which posted unverified footage of the aftermath of the alleged chemical weapons attack, claiming that up to 70 people had died of "widespread suffocation."

    With both Damascus and Moscow rejecting the allegations as a false flag, the Russian Defense Ministry reported earlier that that an analysis of Douma soil, which was taken shortly after the alleged chemical weapons attack there, indicated that there were no nerve agents and chlorine-containing poisonous substances in the area.

    The views and opinions expressed by Mehmet Metiner and Engin Altay are those of the speakers and do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.

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    forces, alliance, peace, attempts, missiles, policy, Donald Trump, Turkey, Syria, United States
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