The Turkish government, which supports jihadist militants trying to overthrow the Syrian government, on Tuesday accused Syrian government forces of attacking moderate opposition fighters under the guise of fighting extremists.
Turkey's Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoglu's comments came a day after Syrian forces captured 14 villages as they advanced on the largest terrorist-held enclave in the country's north amid a wave of airstrikes. The troops aim to reach a terrorist-held air base in Idlib province and secure the road linking the capital, Damascus, with the northern city of Aleppo, Syria's largest.
Russia, Iran and Turkey agreed last year to establish a "de-escalation zone" in the militant-held Idlib province and surrounding region. The main terrorist group in the northwestern province of Idlib is al-Qaida affiliate Tahrir al-Sham.
Çavuşoğlu said Syrian government attacks on "moderate opposition forces would axe peace efforts".
In October, Turkish army forces have begun an operation in Syria's northwestern Idlib province "as part of de-escalation agreement" brokered by Russia at talks in Astana. But the convoy was escorted by terrorists from al-Qaida-linked Tahrir al-Sham, previously known as the Nusra Front.
In none of its statements, Ankara pronounces fighting Nusra Front. However, it was one of the key agendas of Astana agreement to separate al-Qaida from the "moderates".
The Syrian government demanded the immediate withdrawal of Turkish troops from the country. A statement slammed the Turkish aggression, saying it had "nothing whatsoever to do with the understandings reached by the guarantor countries in the Astana process."
Communist and workers' parties around the world protested Turkey's military presence in Syria, and call for the immediate termination of these military operations.