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Recep Tayyip Erdogan says Turkey has no intention to invade Syria

Recep Tayyip Erdogan

Istanbul, Feb 16 (UITV/IANS)- Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said that Turkey has "no intention to invade or annex the Syrian territory".

Speaking on Saturday at an event of his ruling party in Istanbul, Erdogan noted that the problem in Idlib, the last rebel-held stronghold in Syria, would not be resolved until the government forces are drawn to the limits set by the Sochi deal, Xinhua reported.

"Otherwise, we will handle it before the end of February," the Turkish president stressed.

Earlier in the day, Erdogan and US President Donald Trump exchanged views by phone on ending the crisis in Idlib as soon as possible, Turkey's Directorate of Communications announced on Twitter.

The two leaders agreed that the attacks of the Syrian government forces against the Turkish soldiers in Idlib were unacceptable.

On Monday, five Turkish soldiers were killed and five others wounded in a Syrian government forces' artillery attack in Idlib.

Earlier in February, the Syrian forces killed eight Turks, including five soldiers, in another artillery offensive in the region.