Turkish military vehicles enter Syria’s Idlib after militant snub
Story Code : 752088
The 30-strong vehicles entered the province “overnight,” AFP reported Monday, describing the vehicles as those used for transporting troops.
The agreement was reached during a meeting between Turkish President Recep Tayyib Erdogan and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin in the Black Sea resort of Sochi.
Under the deal, a demilitarized zone of 15-20 kilometers would be created in Idlib along the contact line between the militants and Syrian government troops by October 15.
The deal involved the withdrawal of “radically-minded” militants, including the al-Qaeda-linked ones, from the region. Erdogan said both Turkey and Russia would carry out coordinated military patrols on the borders of the buffer zone in a bid to detect and prevent “provocation by third parties and violations of the agreement.”
On Sunday, however, Turkish-backed militants rejected to either lay down their arms or surrender the territory under their control.
“We will not abandon our weapons, our land or our revolution” against Syrian government forces, said the so-called National Liberation Front (NLF).
Turkey, along with Iran and Russia, has been serving as a mediator in talks between the Syrian government and opposition since 2017, negotiating on the militants’ side.
Idlib is considered to be the last theater of war in Syria. Damascus has been liberating one province after the other with the help of its allies Iran and Russia.
The Russo-Turkish agreement suspended a concerted Syrian army operation against the militants in the province.