Pakistan expresses sorrow over Turkish troops’ killing in Syria

Updated 29 Feb 2020

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“Pakistan expresses its deep concern at the recent developments in Syria’s Idlib region," says FO. — Dawn/File
“Pakistan expresses its deep concern at the recent developments in Syria’s Idlib region," says FO. — Dawn/File

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Friday condoled with Turkey over the killing of its 33 soldiers in Syria’s Idlib region and expressed support for Turkey’s “legitimate security and humanitarian concerns”.

“Pakistan expresses its deep concern at the recent developments in Syria’s Idlib region, and conveys heartfelt condolences and sympathies to the leadership and people of Turkey over the loss of lives of a number of Turkish soldiers in an attack yesterday,” the Foreign Office said in a statement.

Around 33 Turkish soldiers were killed in Syria’s Idlib province in an aerial attack by Syrian forces on Thursday renewing fears of a full-blown conflict. “The recent developments are not only a grave threat to regional peace and security but will also exacerbate the deteriorating humanitarian situation in the region,” the FO said.

Syrian government has over the past few weeks launched a massive aerial campaign to clear last rebel held area of Idlib. Turkish soldiers were present in the region as part of a 2018 de-escalation agreement between Russia and Turkey.

“Pakistan once again urges the international community to play its role towards finding a political solution to the Syrian conflict, as well as addressing the prevailing humanitarian crisis,” the FO said.

“Pakistan acknowledges and expresses support for Turkey’s legitimate security and humanitarian concerns in the region, and calls on all regional and international actors to help effectively address and resolve the situation,” it added.

Published in Dawn, February 29th, 2020