By Enes Kaplan and Buket Guven
ANKARA (AA) – The Turkish Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) will stand by any political or military decision by the government on Syria’s northwestern province of Idlib, whatever it may cost, the party's leader said early Friday.
In a statement, Devlet Bahceli said the deepening crisis in Idlib has become a threat to Turkey's national security at the highest level.
“Murderer Bashar al-Assad has officially settled in the enemy camp and become the only perpetrator of hate and violence with his massacres and disgrace,” Bahceli said.
He said the MHP thinks all military intervention decisions by Turkey are sound and legitimate.
Bahceli stressed that ground and air operations should be carried out rapidly in Idlib.
Highlighting Turkey's membership in NATO, he said the attacks were not only carried out on Turkey but also on all NATO members due to the alliance's understanding.
According to NATO's Article 5, an attack on one member of NATO is an attack on all of its members.
He said the process will be a test of sincerity and good faith for all NATO members.
Late Thursday, 33 Turkish soldiers were martyred in an airstrike by the Assad regime in Idlib.
In September 2018, Turkey and Russia agreed to turn Idlib into a de-escalation zone in which acts of aggression are expressly prohibited.
But more than 1,300 civilians have been killed in attacks by the regime and Russian forces in the zone since then as the ceasefire continues to be violated.
The de-escalation zone is currently home to 4 million civilians, including hundreds of thousands displaced in recent years by regime forces throughout the war-torn country.
More than 1.7 million Syrians have moved near the Turkish border due to intense attacks.
Since the eruption of the bloody civil war in Syria in 2011, Turkey has taken in some 3.7 million Syrians who fled their country, making it the world’s top refugee hosting country.
*Writing by Fahri Aksut