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Erdogan calls Western attack on Syria appropriate, says it’s a ‘message to Assad’

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has welcomed the US-led forces strikes on Syria, saying that the joint operation by the US, UK, and France was appropriate and it sent the Syrian government “the message that its massacres wouldn’t be left unanswered.” Erdogan said that “the innocent Syrian people should have been defended long ago.” Addressing his ruling AK Party supporters in Istanbul, Erdogan said that Damascus recently began a disproportionate attack on the opposition, using “not only chemical weapons,” and added that conventional weapons there “kill many times more people than chemical,” RIA Novosti reported. He called for a united position against both “the regime and Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS)” in Syria. Erdogan also stressed that Ankara supports a reduction of the escalation between Russia and the US in the Syrian crisis.