Turkey need not choose between Russia, US: Cavusoglu

Apr 19, 2017, 01:28
Turkey need not choose between Russia, US: Cavusoglu

Asked by reporters what the future holds for Turkish-Russian ties after Ankara welcomed US missile strikes against a Syrian regime airbase last week - the opposite of Moscow's reaction - Mevlut Cavusoglu said, Turkey "does not have to take a side between Russia and the U.S".

But instead of regime change, what we should focus on is humanitarian relief ... He did not rule out additional strikes if Assad continued to engage in atrocities against rebel forces with either chemical or conventional weapons. "And saying we are only going after chemical weapons areas ignores the enormity of the problem".

The hope, he said, is that "we can navigate a political outcome in which the Syrian people, in fact, will determine Bashar al-Assad's fate and his legitimacy".

The coalition said the attack on the At-Tanf Garrison, a remote outpost used by elite U.S. and British forces, was a complex one involving a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device, followed by a ground assault and suicide vests by up to 30 ISIS fighters.

Syria's Foreign Ministry condemned the USA strike as "a flagrant aggression" against the country and said Washington's real objective was to "weaken the strength of the Syrian army in confronting terrorist groups".

April. 10: The Russian and Iranian Presidents in a phone conversation stressed the inadmissibility of aggressive USA actions against Syria in violation of global law, the Kremlin said in a statement issued on Sunday. Trump said he retaliated because Bashar al-Assad "choked out the lives of helpless men, women and children" with banned chemical weapons.

But the secretary of state said when he meets with the Russian foreign minister this week, he will bring up Russia's obligation under a 2013 agreement to ensure the Syrian government got rid of its chemical weapons.

"The Russians were never targeted in this particular strike", Tillerson said.

Meanwhile, a joint command center made up of the forces of Russia, Iran, and militias supporting Assad said the USA strike crossed "red lines".

Russian Federation had its own military personnel at the Syrian military airport that the USA struck with cruise missiles.

Eliminating operations from the airfield was "not the objective", he said.

"It's important that we keep our priorities straight", said Tillerson.

He said that the attack will not help settle the crisis in Syria.

"What happened this week was really one of the president's finest hours", Haley told host Jake Tapper on CNN's "State of the Union".

Sunday on CBS's "Face the Nation", Sen.