That offensive has killed dozens of Turkish troops and led to a surge of nearly a million Syrian civilians fleeing the fighting toward Turkey’s sealed border.
Turkey backs the Syrian rebels fighting in Idlib province, and has sent thousands of troops into the area. Idlib is the last opposition-held stronghold in Syria, and is dominated by al-Qaida linked fighters.
A Turkish official said the fighting in Idlib was directly linked to Turkey’s decision to open the gates for refugees to Europe.
He said Ankara had changed its focus to preparing for the possibility of new arrivals from Syria “instead of preventing refugees who intend to migrate to Europe”.
“Europe and others must take robust action to address this monumental challenge,” Fahrettin Altun, the communications director for Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, said.
“We can’t be expected to do this on our own.”
Erdogan’s decision to declare his country’s borders with Europe open made good on a longstanding threat to let refugees into the continent.
His announcement marked a dramatic departure from the current policy and an apparent attempt to pressure Europe into offering Turkey more support in dealing with the fallout from the Syrian war to its south.
Under a six billion euro deal in 2016, Turkey agreed to stem the tide of refugees to Europe in return for financial aid, after more than a million people entered Europe in 2015.
It has since accused the EU of failing to honour the agreement, and Erdogan has frequently threatened to allow refugees and migrants to head to Europe unless more international support was provided.
Turkey already hosts 3.6 million Syrian refugees, as well as others from Africa, Asia and the Middle East.
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