Turkey Sends Forces to Reinforce Border With Syria’s Idlib Province

Military refuses to say if operation in Idlib is planned

A temporary truce between rebel factions in Syria’s Idlib Province has seen al-Qaeda trying to shore up massive gains over the last week by sending reinforcements, and Turkey’s rebel allies looking to defend likely targets when the truce ends.

Turkey’s military is also very active on their side of the border with Idlib, with a large convoy arriving Friday. This convoy included commando units and armored vehicles which are being positioned close to the border.

The Turkish military would only refer to this as a troop  rotation in the area, and refused questions on whether it was part of a plan to operate inside Idlib and try to stop al-Qaeda from making any further gains.

There have been reports from the rebels that Turkey is in secret negotiations with the al-Qaeda forces in the area, and this might also be a negotiating tactic. With Turkey promising to invade eastern Syria, they probably won’t want a second front at Idlib. That said, they probably don’t want to see existing rebel territory, protected in intense negotiations with Russia, overrun outright by al-Qaeda.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.