Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan reportedly expressed his "regret" for the loss of Iranian general Qassem Soleimani in a call with his Iranian counterpart, Hassan Rouhani, days after Soleimani was killed in a U.S. airstrike. According to RT, the Turkish President called Soleimani a “martyr” and said he understood the anger of Iran’s people and leaders. He also reportedly expressed his distaste for external interference, which he said destabilizes the region. The comments echoed an earlier, official statement from the Turkish foreign ministry saying the airstrike would “increase the insecurity and the instability in the region.” Rouhani reportedly told Erdogan that the U.S. had made “a grave and unwise mistake” and that its actions should be answered.
Earlier Saturday, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo tweeted that he had discussed the strike with Turkish Foreign Minister Cavusoglu and “reiterated the importance of countering the Iranian regime’s destabilizing activities.” He did not say how the message had been received.