MOSCOW(Sputnik) — The activities of Ankara in the region prompted criticism from Damascus, which says that Turkey's actions in the Syrian province of Idlib, the seizing of Syrian territory and building of camps to train militants in the area are a violation of Syria's sovereignty and UN Security Council resolutions.
"[Turkish President Recep Tayyip] Erdogan is playing the role of political beggar after his support for terrorists was exposed. We do not consider the Turkish side to be a partner nor a guarantor nor do we trust it," Assad said in a speech at the opening of the Foreign and Expatriates Ministry Conference in Syria, as quoted by the SANA news agency.
In August 2016, Ankara launched the Euphrates Shield operation, aiming to clear almost 2,000 square miles of Syrian territory near the Turkish border from militants of Daesh (outlawed in numerous countries) and other terrorist groups. On March 30, the Turkish National Security Council announced the successful completion of Operation Euphrates Shield, with Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim stating that if Turkey is "threatened," a new operation could be launched.
Recently Ankara signaled that a new military operation might be in consideration for northern Syria. Earlier this week, Prime Minister Yildirim said that Ankara is taking all the "necessary measures" along the border with Idlib. He stressed that Turkey would defend its national interests, namely its right to sovereignty and security if needed.