Erdogan: We will hit Assad's forces 'anywhere'
The President of Turkey stated that by the end of February we will push Syrian government forces beyond observation posts in Idlib and we will target Assad's forces anywhere regardless of the Astana Peace Process.
Addressing the country's parliament in Ankara on Wednesday, Erdogan said Turkey is determined to push Syrian government forces beyond Turkish observation posts in the northwestern Idlib region by the end of February, Aljazeera reported.
"We will do this by any means necessary, by air or ground," he said.
Turkey has set up 12 observation posts in the last rebel-held stronghold in Syria as part of a 2018 deal with Russia, which backs Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
This month it has poured thousands of troops and convoys of military vehicles across the border into Idlib, including tanks, armoured personnel carriers and radar equipment to bolster its existing military positions.
Syrian government attacks have killed 13 Turkish military personnel in Idlib this month, prompting a deadly response from Ankara amid concerns over an escalation of violence in the country's nearly nine-year war.
On Tuesday, Erdogan said the Syrian government will pay a "very heavy price" for attacking Turkish troops in Idlib.
Ankara has said it retaliated for both attacks, destroying scores of Syrian targets.
There have been escalating steps between Turkish and Syrian forces in recent weeks as Damascus has tried to liberate the last terrorist strongholds in northwest Syria.
Last week, several Turkish soldiers were killed in Idlib province after they came under heavy artillery fire by Syrian forces.
Following the incident, Turkey launched airstrikes against Syrian troops advancing in the last terrorist bastion in Idlib.
Turkey sent more troops to the Syrian border where the Syrian Army made substantial advances in Idlib province.