TURKEY (OBSERVATORY) – Turkish Prime Minister Ben Ali Yildirim on Wednesday urged Russia and the United States to stop “street brawls” on Syria, saying it was time to put their differences aside because they threatened to harm civilians.
“They are fighting the streets, they are fighting like street fatwas, but who is paying the price? They are civilians,” Yildirim said in a televised address in Istanbul.
“It is not the time for discounts, it is the time to heal the region, to meet and to put differences aside.”
Yildirim made his statement while US President Donald Trump threatened Russia that US missiles were “coming” to strike its ally Syria after reports of a planned chemical attack in an opposition stronghold near Damascus.
Yildirim said the current situation places “much greater responsibilities” on the five permanent members of the UN Security Council, including Russia and the United States.
“But what are they doing? They send out tweets and threaten each other.” One of them says, ‘I have stronger missiles,’ and the other says, ‘No, I’m a stronger missile.'”
Turkey is a member of NATO along with the United States but has been tense with Washington for months because of US support for Kurds in Syria.
Meanwhile, Turkey has been close to Russia and Iran in recent months in order to bring about a cease-fire in Syria, noting that Turkey supports Syrian factions fighting government forces supported by Moscow.