Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in a phone call with Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin on Tuesday condemned a suspected chemical attack in northwestern Syria as an “inhuman” strike that could endanger peace talks based in the Kazakh capital.”President Erdogan said that this kind of inhuman attack was unacceptable and warned it risked wasting all the efforts within the framework of the Astana process” to bring peace to Syria, presidential sources said.
The sources did not indicate who was to blame for the attack, describing it as a “chemical weapons attack directed at civilians”. Turkey has been a major foe of President Bashar al-Assad’s regime in Syria throughout the Syrian civil war, repeatedly accusing Damascus of war crimes.
But in the last months Ankara has deepened ties with Assad’s ally Russia, co-brokering a ceasefire that until now had drastically reduced the levels of violence. The presidential sources said both Putin and Erdogan vowed to keep up joint efforts to preserve the ceasefire. Erdogan had called Putin to pass on his condolences for the suicide bombing on the Saint Petersburg metro that killed 14 people and both leaders vowed to keep up the fight against terror, the sources said.