Turkey seeks to avert escalation in Syria

ANKARA, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan indicated on Friday he had called on his US and Russian counterparts to abstain from escalatory action on the Syrian arena.

Erdogan, speaking to reporters, said he urged Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin in phone contacts to adopt a more sensible approach toward conditions in Syria and seek to end the “tragedy” in the troubled Middle East.

The Turkish president, whose troops are involved in a wide-scale military operation against Kurdish groups in northern Syria, made the revelation about his discussions with the two leaders amid threats by Washington to bomb targets of the Syrian regime in retaliation for a reported chemical attack on civilians on Damascus’ outskirts.

Meanwhile, Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim, in a statement to journalists, urged Washington and Moscow to abstain from any action that might complicate conditions further in Syria.

Although Yildirim expressed deep concern over the ongoing saber-rattling might snowball into major military action, he stressed that employment of chemical agents against the innocents and the children is a shameful act that cannot be forgiven.

Trump has threatened to launch missiles on the regime targets and assailed the Russians for supporting Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad “who has been killing his people.” Syrian opposition sources said 150 people were killed in Douma with chemical weapons employed by the regime.

Russia has denied the reports charging that they were fabricated by intelligence networks.

Source: Kuwait News Agency