Syria’s Al-Qaeda Will Accept Idlib Deal

In statement, group praises Turkish efforts to prevent invasion

While the deal is already in place and this is the first time they’ve commented on the matter, al-Qaeda’s Syria affiliate, Tahrir al-Sham, has issued a statement today expressing support for the Turkey-Russia negotiation deal in Idlib

The statement didn’t promise to always abide by the deal, but did express appreciation for it, and praised Turkey for its efforts to prevent the invasion of Idlib by Syrian forces, which is what the deal was intended to avoid.

The statement further condemned the “trickery of the Russian occupier,” saying that they don’t have faith in Russia’s intentions. It’s not clear if the deal has actually required Tahrir al-Sham, formerly Jabhar al-Nusra, to do anything.

Under the deal, a 15-20 km demilitarized zone has been established, with the rebels intended to withdraw from that area, and to remove all heavy weapons. Tahrir al-Sham ruled out handing over any weapons, but it remains uncertain if any of the territory overlaps with the parts of Idlib held by Tahrir al-Sham.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.