Turkey’s National Security Council (MGK) said on Thursday that the country would take extra measures to protect its forces and civilians against the ongoing attacks by the Syrian regime in the province of Idlib.
“The commitment of our country to take additional measures against terror attacks that continue to target our security forces and the civilian population in various parts of Syria, namely Idlib, despite the agreements with countries active in Syria was reiterated,” MGK statement read.
The Russia-backed Syrian government’s onslaught on Idlib has displaced some 700,000 people, pushing them to flee toward the Turkish border.
U.S. Special Envoy for Syria James Jeffrey said on Thursday that this new wave of refugees could usher an international crisis.
Jeffrey told a news briefing that the Russian warplanes had hit Idlib with 200 airstrikes “mainly against civilians” in the past three days.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who chaired the day’s MGK meeting, said on Wednesday that Turkey has lost patience with the attack on Idlib and that Russia was violating Astana and Sochi agreements aimed at stemming conflict there.
Regime troops have swiftly advanced on Idlib since last week with the help of Russian airpower.
With the latest wave of displacement, an already dire humanitarian situation in the makeshift camps near the Turkish border has been deteriorating, the U.N. officials said.
Turkey has taken in over 3.7 million Syrians who fled their country since the civil war began in 2011 and now faces another refugee influx.