Turkey calls for establishing no-fly zone in Syria, says US strikes a ‘positive step’

Turkish Presidential Spokesperson Ibrahim Kalin

Ankara calls on the international community to establish a no-fly zone  and a safe zone in Syria following US missile strikes against a military airfield in Syria, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s spokesman Ibrahim Kalin said Friday.

“[The US strike] is an appropriate response to [Syrian President Bashar Assad’s] regime’s crimes. It is important, since its attacks against civilians have been left without response. It is urgent to proceed with the establishment of a no-fly zone and a safe zone to prevent further crimes. The international community has to act in concert,” Kalin said as quoted by the Turkish NTV broadcaster.

Separately, Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus said Friday that Turkey considers the latest US missile strike on a military airfield in Syria a good thing.

According to Turkish TV channel CNN Turk, he said it was a positive step.

“Assad regime should be punished,” Kurtulmus said, as quoted by Hurriyet Daily News.

On Thursday night, the United States launched over 50 Tomahawk cruise missiles at the Syrian military airfield in Ash Sha’irat, located about 40 kilometers (25 miles) from the city of Homs. US President Donald Trump said the attack was a response to the alleged chemical weapon use in Syria’s Idlib on Tuesday, which Washington blames on the Syrian government.

On Tuesday, the Syrian National Coalition of Revolutionary and Opposition Forces reported that a chemical weapon attack in Syria’s Idlib province claimed the lives of some 80 people and inflicted harm on an additional 200 civilians. The coalition, as well as a number of Western states, blamed the Syrian government troops for the attack, while Damascus has refuted these allegations.