Turkish and Saudi foreign ministers have once again warned Russia over its ongoing military action in Syria, with Ankara branding the air campaign a “big mistake.”
“We will continue with our warnings,” Turkish Foreign Minister Feridun Sinirlioglu said after a meeting with his Saudi counterpart Adel al-Jubeir in Ankara on Thursday.
Sinirlioglu said Russia is making a “big mistake” and added, “What it does will bring no meaning or benefit, other than delaying the transition process to help Syria out of the chaos.”
The warnings came as Russia is entering the third week of its extensive air campaign against the Takfiri group Daesh and other terrorists in Syria. The attacks have infuriated both Turkey and Saudi Arabia, both opposed to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Turkey’s concerns over Moscow’s military campaign in Syria deepened after Russian fighter jets reportedly violated the NATO member’s airspace twice earlier this month. Military officials in Turkey said Thursday that a Russian military delegation arrived in Ankara with the aim of sharing data to prevent a repeat of airspace violations.
The Saudi and Turkish ministers also said they are in agreement that Assad must not have a part in Syria’s future.
“Saudi Arabia and Turkey are in agreement on supporting the opposition in Syria. What is important is a political solution,” Jubeir said, adding, “We are in agreement that there will certainly be no role for Bashar al-Assad.”
Russia, meanwhile, has voiced full support for Assad’s fight against terrorism, with President Vladimir Putin saying before the attacks began that it would be a huge mistake to exclude Assad from any effort meant to fight Daesh and other militants in Syria.