Turkish Defense Minister Nurettin Canikli told this to 24TV on Wednesday, TASS is reporting.
“If an attack occurs against the forces (in Syria) backed by Russia or there is an attack by the US-supported forces, Russia won’t be able to stay away, otherwise it will lose its influence. So, serious clashes may start,” he said.
According to Canikli noting that this threat has existed for a long time and will be relevant in the future – while “just one spark may set the entire region on fire and open the door for the conflict. So, we are calling on the parties (Russia and the US) to act with restraint and on the regime (of Bashar Assad) to stop supporting terrorist organizations,” Canikli said.
Also on Wednesday, amid rising tensions between the US and Russia, US President Donald Trump first tweeted, “Russia vows to shoot down any and all missiles fired at Syria. Get ready Russia, because they will be coming, nice and new and ‘smart!’ You shouldn’t be partners with a Gas Killing Animal who kills his people and enjoys it!,” followed up by this message, also posted on Twitter:
“Our relationship with Russia is worse now than it has ever been, and that includes the Cold War. There is no reason for this. Russia needs us to help with their economy, something that would be very easy to do, and we need all nations to work together. Stop the arms race?”
Meanwhile, the Russian Navy is about to start exercises near the coast of Syria – something surmised from an international warning issued to flight personnel (NOTAM) and another issued for sailors, Russian news agency Interfax is reporting.