Erdogan, Putin agree to continue efforts for Syria political solution: Turkish presidency

Tayyip Erdogan on Thursday said Turkey was worried by

Tayyip Erdogan on Thursday said Turkey was worried by"arm wrestling of world powers over Syria

With the latest operation, he said: "The regime has seen that its mounting attacks in recent days against dissidents... will not be left unanswered".

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan held telephone conversations with the presidents of Russian Federation and France Vladimir Putin and Emmanuel Macron, Turkish media reports.

The Turkish leader told the two leaders his country "clearly condemned" the use of chemical weapons, a Turkish presidential source said.

"The innocent Syrian people should have been defended long ago", Erdogan added.

The strikes came after the Assad regime was accused of carrying out a chemical attack in Syria's Douma, which killed 78 civilians and injured hundreds of others.

Turkey is a vocal critic of Assad's regime in Damascus and backed rebels fighting for his ouster.

Turkey, a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ally, has long opposed Syrian President Bashar Assad, but in recent months has moved closer to Iran and Russian in seeking to end the seven-year civil war across its border.

He said that tensions in the region should be reduced.

Earlier, the Turkish president also spoke with British Premier Theresa May.

Earlier in the day, Turkey's Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdag has said: "Before striking targets in Syria, the chiefs of the General Staff of the United States and Turkey, as well as our [Turkish] President and [US President] Trump discussed this issue. Base Incirlik was not involved in the strike".

The statement noted that attacks on civilians with weapons of mass destruction, including chemical weapons, were crimes against humanity.

"The conscience of the worldwide community is in no doubt about that".

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