Russian Ambassador Says Faced Threats Due To Hostile Sentiments In Turkey Over Idlib
ANKARA (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 14th February, 2020) The escalation of the situation in Syria's northwestern province of Idlib has triggered anti-Russian sentiments on Turkish social media, Russian Ambassador to Turkey Alexei Yerkhov said in an interview with Sputnik on Thursday, adding that he also faced threats.
"By the way, all this has [anti-Russian sentiments] happened once, five years ago, in media and on social networks, only Aleppo was instead of Idlib. How did it end? [With] 'Aircraft crisis' and the outrageous murder of [Russian] Ambassador Andrey Karlov. By the way, I also have already been directly threatened," Yerkhov said.
The ambassador also noted that some bloggers' posts were full of anger and hatred that discouraged people to think logically and understand the Russian partner's, actions, which was even more dangerous.
"There is absolute reluctance to understand the partner, logic of their actions, to listen to their words and take for granted their right to own point of view, different from your vision of what is happening. That kind of attitude can turn into big trouble," the diplomat added.
Tensions in Idlib, one of four de-escalation zones in Syria, intensified last week after the Turkish Defense Ministry said eight Turkish military personnel and a civilian died in a shelling by the Syrian troops on Turkey's observation post in the province. As a result, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan pledged to take retaliatory measures if Syria's armed forces failed to stop their operation in the zone and withdraw from the areas close to Turkey's observation posts by the end of February. In addition, Erdogan said he had asked Russian President Vladimir Putin to pressure the Syrian government into stopping the Idlib offensive.
Moscow, in its turn, urged Ankara to comply with the existing agreements on Idlib and expressed its regret over the country's failure to dissociate the armed opposition from the terrorists operating there. In addition, on Wednesday, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova slammed Turkey's decision to ask NATO for support against the Syrian army in Idlib.