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Syria’s Assad slams Erdogan as ‘thief’ as he makes his first visit to Idlib province

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Damascus, Oct 22: Syria’s President Bashar-al-Assad on Tuesday visited troops deployed along the front line of Idlib province in western Syria and said the regime would support Kurdish fighters against Turkish soldiers and their Syrian proxies.

Syrian President Bashar Assad has vowed to reunite all the territory under Damascus’ rule. Accusing Turkey of stealing territory in a military offensive in northeast Syria, Assad called Erdogan “a thief” and said he was ready to support any “popular resistance” against Turkey’s invasion.

“We are in the middle of a battle and the right thing to do is to rally efforts to lessen the damages from the invasion and to expel the invader sooner or later,” he told troops during a visit to the northwestern province of Idlib.

Emphasizing that fighting against Turkish troops is a national duty, Assad told government troops on the frontline in the province of Idlib,”We are prepared to support any group carrying out popular resistance against the Turkish aggression,This is not a political decision… We are not taking any political decisions now.It is a constitutional duty and a national duty.”

The video of Assad talking and motivating the troops was shared by the presidency.

Click here To view video of President Assad visit to Idlib on 22 Oct 2019

Defeating jihadists in Idlib is the key to ending Syria’s eight-year-old civil war, President said on his first visit to the embattled northwestern region since 2011.

“The battle of Idlib is the basis for resolving chaos and terrorism in all other areas of Syria,” Assad’s office quoted him as telling troops in the frontline town of Al-Hbeit.

Turkey launched Operation Peace Spring on Oct. 9 after US annouced troops withdrawal and claim of creating a 32 km buffer zone running along the Syrian-Turkish border from the River Euphrates to the border with Iraq,to keep Kurdish forces it views as “terrorists” at bay.

This is the third military invasion into northern Syria since 2016.

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