Turkish troops to hit groups who violate Idlib ceasefire: Defense chief Akar

"Force will be used against those violating the , including radicals, and every measure will be taken," said his comments to the media outlets on Thursday. Erdoğan also said in Wednesday's remarks that Ankara had given a message to the rebels it supports in the conflict to refrain from acting in an "undisciplined" way and give the regime forces an excuse to strike.

Turkey will use force against rebel groups violating a ceasefire in Syria's northwest Idlib region, Hulusi Akar was quoted as saying on Thursday in an apparent response to Russian criticism.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on Wednesday that his military would strike the Assad regime forces by air or ground anywhere in Syria if another Turkish soldier was hurt, after 13 troops left martyred by Syrian forces in just over a week.

In a response to the criticism by Russian side, Akar said Turkey was sending additional reinforcements to its positions in Idlib to ensure a ceasefire in the region is maintained and to "control" the area, according state-run Anadolu news agency.

"Force will be used against those violating the , including radicals, and every measure will be taken," Akar said, referring to a Jan. 12 ceasefire Ankara says has been violated by Assad's forces. Ankara has deployed more than 1,000 troops to its military posts in Idlib since last week.

On Wednesday, Erdoğan said Ankara had given a message to the rebels it supports in the conflict to refrain from acting in an "undisciplined" way and give the regime forces an excuse to strike.

Turkey, a NATO ally with the alliance's second largest army, has repeatedly urged Russia to stop the regime attacks in Idlib, warning that it will use military power to push back the regşme forces unless they withdraw by the end of the month.

Ankara and Moscow back opposing sides, but have collaborated on a political solution to the war.



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