President Recep Tayyip Erdogan today said Turkey was worried by the "arm wrestling" of world powers over Syria, as tensions soared between Washington and Moscow after threats of possible US air strikes.
"We are extremely worried that some countries confident of their military power are turning Syria into a scene for arm wrestling," Erdogan said in a speech in Ankara after Washington and Moscow traded accusations.
His comments came after US President Donald Trump warned Moscow on Wednesday that US missiles "will be coming" to Syria in retaliation for an alleged chemical weapons attack in Syria which reportedly killed dozens.
A Turkish presidential source later confirmed the call had taken place but said only that the two men "exchanged views on the latest developments in Syria" and agreed to maintain contact.
While Russia, alongside Iran, has been supporting the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, Turkey has repeatedly called for his ouster and supported Syrian rebels.
Turkey's foreign ministry has said it strongly suspects Assad was to blame. "God willing, the (world's) collective conscience will act together to end this crisis for th sake of the innocent children massacred in the chemical attack in Douma," Erdogan vowed.
Erdogan said the Assad regime already had "a black mark on its track record" after seven years of civil war in Syria.
Without naming the countries, he appeared to lash out both at Russia for backing Assad and the United States for helping the Syrian Kurdish group the Democratic Union Party (PYD), which Turkey considers a terror group.
"Those who support the regime of murderer Assad are making a mistake. Those who support the PYD terror group are also making a mistake. Until the end, we will fight against both these mistakes.
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