Erdogan warns of ‘military force’ against Syria amid Idlib exodus

Turkey may launch a military operation in Syria’s northwestern Idlib province unless fighting there is quickly halted, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said.

Meanwhile, an exodus has shaken the region, the last rebel stronghold in Syria‘s nearly nine-year war, as hundreds of thousands push towards Turkey to escape a sudden and fast-moving advance by government forces.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad‘s forces, backed by Russian air power, have made rapid advances in Idlib.

“We will not allow the regime’s cruelty towards its own people, with attacks and causing bloodshed,” Erdogan said on Friday.

“Turkey with complete sincerity wants Syria’s stability and security, and to this end, we will not shy away from doing whatever is necessary, including using military force.”

The recent campaign has raised tensions between Ankara and Moscow, which back opposing sides in the conflict.

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