ISTANBUL (Reuters) - Turkey would welcome U.S. military action in Syria following a chemical attack that killed scores in Idlib province, and would be ready to assist if needed, President Tayyip Erdogan was quoted as saying on Thursday.

Ankara has been a steadfast opponent of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and repeatedly called for his ouster.

But Turkey's military action in the country has so far focused on sweeping Islamic State militants from its southern border and checking the advance of Syrian Kurdish fighters.

ADVERTISEMENT

Western states as well as Turkey have accused the Syrian government of carrying out the gas attack on Tuesday that killed at least 70 people including at least 20 children.

"If a (U.S.) action will really be put forward, we are ready to do our part," the Daily Hurriyet newspaper quoted Erdogan as saying, citing an interview with broadcaster Kanal 7.

A U.S. official said on Thursday the Pentagon and White House were in detailed discussions on military options in response to the attack.

Russia, which backs the Syrian government, has said the deaths were caused by a gas leak from a depot where rebel groups were storing chemical weapons, after a Syrian air strike.

ADVERTISEMENT

(Reporting by David Dolan; editing by John Stonestreet)