Turkish foreign minister calls for U.S. Patriot missiles as support in Idlib

FILE PHOTO - Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu speaks during a news conference in Tirana, Albania, February 12, 2020. Turkish Foreign Ministry/Handout via REUTERS

ISTANBUL (Reuters) - Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said Ankara wants the United States to send Patriot missiles to Turkey for back-up in Syria’s northwestern province of Idlib.

Cavusoglu made the comment to reporters on Saturday in the Qatari capital Doha after a meeting with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

Attacks by Syrian government forces killed 55 Turkish soldiers this month in Idlib. President Tayyip Erdogan has threatened to push back Syrian forces if they do not pull back to pre-determined lines.

Reporting by Ali Kucukgocmen; Editing by Alexander Smith