By Emin Avundukluoglu
ANKARA (AA) - Turkey is determined to stop the Syrian regime's attempts to violate a cease-fire in Idlib province, the Turkish president said on Tuesday.
"We are determined to stop the [Syrian] regime's attempts to violate cease-fire [in Idlib] -- ourselves if needed. It is no joke. Everybody should see and accept that Turkey definitely does what it says," Recep Tayyip Erdogan told his party's parliamentary group.
"I hope the cease-fire persists," Erdogan said.
Noting that previous cease-fires in the Idlib province were broken by the regime, he said: "This time, the situation is different."
Erdogan stressed that 400,000 Syrians must be returned to their homes as part of the cease-fire, Erdogan said.
He urged the international community to discuss the Syrian regime's use of violence.
Turkey pushed hard for a ceasefire in Idlib after the region endured months of battering by forces loyal to the Bashar al-Assad regime and its allies, sending about a million civilian refugees flocking towards the Turkish border.
Turkey and Russia agreed in September 2018 to turn Idlib into a de-escalation zone in which acts of aggression are expressly prohibited.
Since then, more than 1,300 civilians there have been killed in attacks by the regime and Russian forces as the ceasefire continued to be violated.
Over 1 million Syrians have moved near the Turkish border due to intense attacks over the last year.