"Killing a high-ranking commander of a country, a state, would not be left unrequited," said the Turkish president
Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the tension escalated by the killing of Iranian commander Qasem Soleimani in Baghdad seems will not end here, adding Turkey is following the aftermath with great concern, reports Daily Sabah.
"Killing a high-ranking commander of a country, a state, would not be left unrequited," the Turkish president said in a broadcast interview with CNN Turk on late Sunday.
Erdogan emphasised that both the US and Iran need to work for de-escalation.
"I had called on (US President) Trump to exercise restraint toward Iran in a phone call four or five hours before the strike. We were also shocked upon receiving the news," Erdogan said.
Making Iraq a conflict zone over US-Iran tensions is damaging the stability of the region, he added.
Soleimani, commander of the Revolutionary Guards' foreign legions, was killed in the US strike on his convoy at Baghdad airport. Iranian-backed Iraqi militia leader Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis was also killed in the attack.
The attack took Washington and its allies, mainly Saudi Arabia and Israel, into uncharted territory in their confrontation with Iran and its proxy militias across the region.
Commenting on Turkish troop deployment to Libya, Erdogan stressed that there are currently 2,500 troops of the Russian Wagner paramilitary group and 6,000 troops from Sudan in Libya.
"Why shouldn't we go when the legitimate government requests us to do so?" he asked.
Erdogan said Turkish soldiers had begun deploying to Libya after parliament approved such a move last week.
"Our soldiers' duty there is coordination. They will develop the operation center there. Our soldiers are gradually going right now," he said.
Erdogan said Turkey's objective was "not to fight", but "to support the legitimate government and avoid a humanitarian tragedy".
He added that Turkey would not be deploying its own combat forces. "Right now, we will have different units serving as a combatant force," he said.
Senior Turkish military personnel would coordinate the "fighting force", Erdogan explained, sharing their experience and information to support Tripoli.
Erdogan also said that Turkey, Germany, the UK and France will hold another quadrilateral meeting on Syria in Istanbul in February.