ANKARA – A large number of Turkish media and civil activists in a petitioned on President Erdogan to stop meddling and military intervention in Syria and immediately withdraw forces from the country. A sum of 236 prominent Turkish figures, including artists, actors, poets, leaders of civil social bodies, lawyers, media workers, university professors, physicians and members of the unions, have signed the petition.
They also underlined that Erdogan’s meddling in Idlib has turned Ankara into a tool in the hands of the imperialist countries and supporters of terrorism. At least 34 Turkish soldiers were killed and many more injured in an airstrike by the Syrian army in Idlib late Thursday.
Turkey has launched attacks on the Syrian army and its allies in northwestern Syria in the last few days, weeks after Syrian troops smashed terrorist groups, including the Al-Nusra Front, in the northwestern provinces of Aleppo and Idlib. Turkey’s attacks constitute an invasion in every legal sense.
After sustaining hundreds of casualties in antiterrorist bombing raids that Ankara blames on Russia, the Turkish army started drone attacks on Syrian army positions in a move that is widely believed to be showing Ankara’s deep fright from opening direct fire on Russian troops.
Ankara insists that the Syrian army and its allies should withdraw from the strategic regions and towns that have been liberated by Syrian troops in Idlib province to let the terrorist groups take back control of the region, a demand rejected by the Syrian government outright.
Following the Turkish army attacks, Iran’s Military Advisory Center (MAC) in Syria called on Turkey to “show wise behavior” on the issue of Idlib in line with the interests of the Turkish people.
“Following the Syrian government’s demand to liberate the M5 road, we cooperated with the country and a number of forces from the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) and Hezbollah of Lebanon in cooperation with the resistance groups provided service to the local people in liberated areas,” a statement by the MAC said on Saturday.
It added that the MAC was prompted to cooperate again with the Syrian army to prevent the reoccupation of the M5 after the Turkey-backed terrorist groups attacked the Syrian army positions again.
“Since the start of our presence in Syria, the Turkish army centers have been within the range of our forces but because of the Astana and other agreements, the committees’ forces and resistance groups have avoided attacks on the Turkish army centers and positions so far,” the statement cautioned.
It added that foreign terrorists from Tajikistan and the Turkistani party as well as al-Nusra militants have launched extensive attacks against the Syrian army centers in the past four days, and the MAC has sent its forces to the liberated areas again to help the Syrian army.
The statement blasted the Turkish army for missile attacks against the MAC centers despite its defensive position and said mediators have been sent to the Turkish army to stop these attacks and improper behavior, but the Turkish army has turned down mediation and killed several of the MAC forces in continued bombings.
It added that the Syrian army’s artillery units reciprocated the attack, and MAC once again declared to the Turkish army that it does not intend to go into war as its top commanders insist on a diplomatic solution to the crisis between Syria and Turkey.
“Since this morning, we have ordered our forces not to target the Turkish army centers to protect the lives of the country’s forces, but the Turkish army still continues artillery attacks against our positions and the Syrian army centers,” the statement said.
“The MAC and the resistance forces want the Turkish forces to act wisely and in line with the interests of the Syrian and Turkish nations,” it added, warning that the Turkish soldiers have been within the range of the MAC’s fire for one month, but the MAC and resistance forces have refrained from targeting them.
“We want you to pressure your officials [to stop their offensive measures] in a bid to prevent the killing of the Turkish soldiers and remain committed to the agreements,” the statement said, addressing the Turkish soldiers and people.
“Despite the current difficult conditions, we emphasize again that we will stand beside the Syrian nation, government and army until expelling the terrorists and safeguarding Syria’s territorial integrity and urge everyone to show more care for wisdom while thinking about the dangers and consequences of continued attacks against Syria,” it concluded.