08:15 GMT +329 March 2017
    Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's interview with Rossiya Segodnya Director General Dmitry Kiselev

    Erdogan's Remark About Toppling Assad Prompts Syrian, Russian Reaction

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    Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Tuesday that the Turkish armed forces' military operation in Syria was designed to put an end to the rule of Syrian President Bashar Assad.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The remarks made the headlines and prompted immediate reaction in Syria and in Russia.


    The Syrian Foreign Ministry said that the Turkish president's statements confirm Damascus' assertion of Turkish aggression in Syria.

    "Erdogan's statements about the goals of Turkish aggression in Syria put an end to his lies and clearly revealed that Turkish aggression on Syrian territory is nothing more than a result of ambitions and illusions," the ministry said in a statement obtained by RIA Novosti.

    Russian Foreign Ministry

    Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said that Moscow was guided by its agreements with Ankara on Syria.

    "We are guided by statements that were repeatedly made by Ankara, in particular, by the Turkish leader publicly, and that underlay the agreements Turkey takes part in. I would like to remind you that these are not only bilateral documents, but also documents of the International Syria Support Group (ISSG) Turkey is part of," the spokeswoman said.

    Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov said that Erdogan's statements run counter to earlier reached agreements between Russia and Turkey.

    "This runs counter to all agreements. First, Resolution 2254, Resolution 2268, decisions of the Vienna format, Lausanne format. We have been participating in these formats jointly with Turkey," Bogdanov told reporters.


    Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that it was inappropriate to speculate on whether Turkish President Erdogan's statements on Syrian President Bashar Assad could affect the Moscow-Ankara relations.

    "No, principled and hypothetical speculations are inappropriate here," Peskov said when asked if Erdogan's statements could affect bilateral relations.

    "The statement was new. So before making any judgments, we hope this position will be explained," he said, adding that the statement was very serious.

    Peskov said Erdogan’s announcement on Assad, which had not been voiced in phone talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin, ran counter to Russia's understanding of the situation.

    He added that Russia is the only country whose forces are in Syria legally.


    Finally, a source in Erdogan's administration tried to downplay president's statement.

    "The presidential statement was announced yesterday, but it should not be perceived literally. I hope that the misunderstanding [with Russia] in this connection will be promptly overcome," the source said, adding that only Turkey's top leadership could provide official comments on Erdogan's announcement.

    On August 24, Turkish forces, backed by US-led coalition aircraft, began a military operation dubbed the Euphrates Shield to clear the Syrian border town of Jarabulus and the surrounding area of Daesh terrorists. As Jarabulus was recaptured, the joint forces of Ankara, the coalition and Syrian opposition groups continued the offensive southwest.

    The operation has been widely criticized both by the Syrian Kurds and Damascus, who have accused Ankara of violating Syria's territorial integrity.


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    Erdogan's Comments on Assad: 'Political Rhetoric for Domestic Consumption'
    Bashar al-Assad, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey, Syria, Russia
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    • avatar
      Ease up everyone! It is just Erdogan, again, proving he can such a golf ball up through the garden hose...!
    • American Socialist
      You can't trust Sultan Errordogan.
      Russia is the only reason he has backtracked, because he knows, Russia's Military can open up a can of whoopass.
    • avatar
      is he know what he's doing, i think he is making unknown statements, changing his way every day. i don't know really what really he's doing. the real thing remains that he wants to grab lands in Syria and this is the only thing he wants. control Syrian land.
    • avatar
      If Russia is or ever was under the illusion that Turkey changed its mind about Assad or the terror groups it supports then they will have a rude and very unpleasant awakening , Turkey is trying to sweet talk Russia to allow them a free hand in Syria saying they have the Kurds in their eye but in reality they aim for Assad , what they are doing is taking place of isis on those territories and in fact isis just yields to them without fighting in every town they enter which points to an agreement , I truly hope Russia is not that naive to trust and believe Turkey in Syria snd think they are friends on the same paige . Russia should never allow Turkey to fold sny other Syrisn ground thats not directly bordering Turkey otherwise they will have to fight them later
    • RedBanner
      Erdogan cannot be trusted, never was, never will be.
      IDK what the Russian strategy on this is, but I hope they will do the right thing.
    • avatar
      how is it with the translation of turskish into english. Can it be som problems with the translation? Otherwice:

      Irish Proverb: "If you dig a grave for others, you might fall into it yourself."

      Read more: www.special-dictionary.com/proverbs/source/i/irish_proverb/61286.htm#ixzz4RWC47U8H
    • avatar
      As I wrote earlier, Erdogan confessed his invasion is in violation of the UN Charter and is thus the #1 war crime of Aggressive War, which he previously waged through surrogates--terrorists. Assad has no illusions and understands; Putin must see his point-of-view and help Syria repulse all Turkish and other illegal foreign forces from within its borders. There really is no other choice in the matter!
    • choticastile
      The ErrorGoon better watch his mouth and actions-- or find himself blasted into space, a forever tortured wanderer-- only one thing left to his memory: The picture of Vladimir Putin!
    • avatar
      Running out of time (and cards) to start a worldwide war and Russia keeps refusing to fall in the multiple traps. Keep calm and wait for January 20.
    • Jonathan Fergusonin reply toAmerican Socialist(Show commentHide comment)
      American Socialist, Maybe his own military will open up some whoopass AT HOME... If you know what I'm sayin ;)
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