Erdogan: “New refugee crisis like in 2015 unavoidable”

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Turkey cannot handle a new wave of migration from Syria, said President Tayyip Erdogan on Sunday. He added that European countries will feel the impact of such an influx if violence in the Idlib region in Syria is not stopped.

Speaking at an award ceremony in Istanbul, Erdogan said that more than 80,000 people are currently en route from Idlib to Turkey due to Russian and Syrian bombing of the region. He said it is inevitable for Europe to face a new migrant crisis like in 2015, unless it helps to stop violence in the region.

Erdogan also said that Turkey, in consultation with Russia, is doing everything possible to stop the bombing in Idlib. A Turkish delegation will go to Moscow on Monday to discuss developments in Syria. Turkey will decide after those talks what steps it will take, Erdogan says.

The insurgents who fight against the regime of the Syrian president Bashar al-Assad have their last stronghold in the province of Idlib and adjacent areas. The battle would have flared up when fighters from the jihadist Hayat Tahrir al-Sham opened the attack on positions of the governmental forces. The Syrian army then countered with Russian air support.

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