Syria Demands Turkey Withdraw From Idlib

Says Deployment of Troops Is 'Flagrant Aggression'

In a surprise move, the Syrian government issued a statement over the weekend condemning the Turkish military for deploying troops into Idlib, demanding the immediate withdrawal of troops from the province.

Though Syria has long complained about Turkish troops elsewhere in the country, the deployment in Idlib is part of the Astana peace talks, and came as part of a deal with Russia on establishing a safe zone in the province, with Turkey sending troops to the rebel side to enforce compliance.

Syria’s Foreign Ministry says the deployment is “flagrant aggression,” and said they considered Turkey’s deployment a “violation” of the Astana understanding. It’s not clear what the violation is, since neither Russia nor Iran is complaining about the deployment.

Turkish troops in Idlib are seen mostly trying to keep al-Qaeda’s Nusra Front picking fight with government forces or other rebels.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of