Erdogan slams Russia for supporting Assad

Hours before arriving in Saudi Arabia on Tuesday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan accuses Syria’s president of “mercilessly” killing hundreds of thousands of people and criticized Russia for backing him.

Erdogan was speaking to reporters before departing for Saudi Arabia, where he will meet King Salman for talks focused on the Syrian civil war. Turkey and Saudi Arabia are strong backers of the rebels fighting to overthrow Syrian President Bashar Assad, who in turn is supported by Russia and Iran.

Erdogan says his government and Saudi Arabia are working “in solidarity and consultation” to find a political solution for Syria, as both countries push for an agreement that would remove Assad from power.

In comments apparently directed at Russia’s military intervention in Syria, Erdogan said: “You cannot go anywhere by supporting a regime that has mercilessly killed 400,000 innocent people with conventional and chemical weapons.”


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