On 21 February 2020, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that Turkey would not withdraw from Idlib Province as long as Syrian government forces continue to press on with their ‘violent onslaught’.
He said, “According to the latest data, we have neutralised 150 ‘regime elements’, destroyed 12 tanks, three armoured vehicles, 14 howitzers and two pickup trucks. We will not pull out from Idlib until the regime halts its aggression against the province’s population. This is the only condition for cessation of hostilities.”
Erdogan also notified the reporters that the talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin over the phone will determine Turkey’s actions in Idlib Province.
He also talked about the issue of Patriot air-defense systems. According to Erdogan, Turkey requested the weapons systems from the Trump administration despite not abandoning Russia’s S-400s. He informed the reporters that French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel proposed holding a four-way summit in Istanbul on 5 March 2020 to resolve the situation in Idlib.