Dark matter: Erdogan explains his plans to dethrone al-Assad in Syria (updated)

12:29 Dec. 1, 2016

Erdogan explains his plans to dethrone al-Assad in Syria (updated)

Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan addresses a parliamentary symposium on Jerusalem (AP photo)

Erdogan and Putin had phone call on Wednesday

Update: President Erdogan said on Thursday, December 1, that Turkey's military operation in Syria was 'aimed at terrorist organizations', and did not target any one country or individual, the Reuters agency reports. 

Erdogan said that in a statement at the presidential palace after he proclaimed earlier this week that Turkey had entered Syria to 'end the rule of cruel Assad'.

Read also: Assad forces attacked Turkish troops, Ankara vows ‘retaliation'

Story: Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan discussed the situation in Syria in a phone call with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, 

During the conversation, Turkish leader explained his announced plan to topple Syrian president Bashar al-Assad by continuing a combat operation in neighbouring Syria, devastated by the 5-years long civil war. 

This statement surprised Moscow, a strong supporter of the Damascus regime. On Wednesday, the spokesperson for Kremlin Dmitry Peskov expressed Russia's concern over the alleged plans to topple its only ally in the Middle East.

Read also Erdogan says Turkey to end Assad regime, Putin 'surprised'

Russian president's aide Yuriy Ushkakov gave no details on the Putin-Erdogan phone call. 

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