Erdogan anxious by world powers' 'arm wrestling' on Syria

"We are extremely anxious that some countries confident of their military power are turning Syria into a scene for arm wrestling", Erdogan said Thursday.

"Dividing Syria through terror groups is equally wrong as protecting the regime that attacks its own citizens with chemical and conventional weapons", the president said.

According to an unnamed source close to the Turkish presidency, told AFP news agency that President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey and his USA counterpart Donald Trump spoke of the crisis in Syria during a telephone conversation on Wednesday night.

"It's the time to heal the wounds in the region and to come together", he said. The source said that the two leaders agreed to remain in close contact on Syrian issues.

US President Donald Trump and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan speak to the press in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington, DC, May 16, 2017.

Despite the resolution, the Assad regime last month launched a major ground offensive backed by Russian Federation aimed at capturing Eastern Ghouta's last opposition strongholds.

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Turkey itself is in the midst of a military operation in northern Syria, where it is battling Kurdish forces allied to the US.

Turkey and Russian Federation have been on opposing sides of the conflict in Syria, with Moscow a chief ally of Assad but Ankara backing rebels seeking to oust him.

The White Helmets organization in Eastern Ghouta alleged that the Syrian regime forces carried out a chemical attack in Douma district, killing dozens of people.

Turkish authorities often use the word "neutralized" in their statements to imply that the terrorists in question either surrendered or were killed or captured. On March 18, Turkish-backed troops liberated Afrin town center, which had been a major hideout for the YPG/PKK since 2012.

"Those who support the regime of murderer Assad are making a mistake".

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