In order to protect civilians and stop attacks in Idlib, northwestern Syria, Turkey is looking for a way it can use the region’s airspace, Turkey’s President Erdogan said.

President of Turkey and leader of Justice and Development (AK) Party, Recep Tayyip Erdogan speaks at the Grand National Assembly of Turkey in Ankara, Turkey on February 26, 2020.
President of Turkey and leader of Justice and Development (AK) Party, Recep Tayyip Erdogan speaks at the Grand National Assembly of Turkey in Ankara, Turkey on February 26, 2020. (Mustafa Kamaci / AA)

In its efforts to protect civilians and stop attacks in Idlib, northwestern Syria, Turkey is looking for a way it can use the region’s airspace, said Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Wednesday.

"Our biggest problem is that we could not use the airspace [over Idlib]," just south of Turkey's border, President Erdogan told his lawmakers of the governing Justice and Development (AK) Party in the capital Ankara.

“Hopefully, we will figure out something soon for this.”

Turkey will not retreat on Idlib, he added.

"We will definitely take the [Assad] regime out of the borders which we have defined before," Erdogan said.

"We will also provide for the Syrians to return their homes."

Since Turkey and Russia reached a deal in 2018 under which acts of aggression are supposed to be prohibited in Idlib, over 1,300 civilians have been killed in the de-escalation zone.

Following intense attacks by the Assad regime and its allies, over a million Syrians have flocked towards the Turkish border.

Since the eruption of the bloody civil war in Syria in 2011, Turkey has taken in some 3.7 million fleeing Syrians, making Turkey the world’s top refugee-hosting country.

Source: AA