Trump tells Erdogan he’ll lobby Nato to assist Turkey with Patriots: Official
US president told Turkish counterpart that any major American military support in Idlib won’t be forthcoming, MEE can reveal
2 March 2020
US President Donald Trump has told Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan that Washington will lobby Nato members to provide Turkey with Patriot missile systems, but refused to offer any direct military assistance in Syria’s Idlib, Middle East Eye can reveal.
Turkish officials last month made a formal request to the United States, asking to temporarily deploy Patriot air defence missile systems to Hatay, a border town in southern Turkey, and conduct aerial patrols in show of support for Ankara’s ongoing operations against pro-Syrian government forces.
The Turkish military has launched a ferocious broadside against Syrian government forces in Syria’s northwestern Idlib province, where troops loyal to President Bashar al-Assad have been waging a deadly offensive against rebel groups.
Backed by Russian air power, the Syrian government has displaced around a million people up towards Turkey’s border and killed Turkish troops supporting the rebels, prompting a strong military response and raising tensions between Ankara and Moscow.
Washington is yet to formally respond to Ankara’s requests, a Turkish official told MEE, speaking on condition of anonymity.
Read more at https://www.middleeasteye.net/news/us-trump-nato-patriots-turkey-erdogan-idlib-syria
In Call With Erdogan, Trump ‘Reaffirms’ Support For Turkey In Syria’s Idlib
February 28, 2020
President Donald Trump has “reaffirmed” U.S. support for Turkey in a phone call with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan while urging President Bashar al-Assad’s regime, Russia, and Iran to halt their offensive in Syria’s northwestern Idlib Province — the last rebel-held area in northwestern Syria — the White House said on February 28.
The two talked after 33 Turkish soldiers were killed the previous day in an air strike by Russian-backed Syrian regime forces, triggering a deadly response by Ankara.
Trump “reaffirmed his support for Turkey’s efforts to de-escalate the situation in northwest Syria and avoid a humanitarian catastrophe,” the White House said, without giving specifics about the support.
Meanwhile, the Turkish presidency said Erdogan and Trump agreed on measures to avoid a “humanitarian tragedy” in Idlib.
“The two leaders agreed on additional steps without delay in order to avert a big humanitarian tragedy unfolding in the Idlib region,” it said in a statement.
Read more at https://www.rferl.org/a/in-call-with-erdogan-trump-reaffirms-support-for-turkey-in-syria-s-idlib/30460488.html